Harlequin Great Dane Roots for Scraps

 

Small, smaller my mother grew
under the blankets, making a joke of the old days
when she dieted on grapefruit and cottage cheese.
I think I was the first to say, stop, when her lips locked,
refused the straws, jell-thickened water, medicine.

Is this how I will leave, slipping
slipping down?  Or will I dig in, like this great white & black
spotted dog pushing his nose into garbage, a high-cheeked
red-haired girl tethered to his leash.