Eleven now, your weight falls hard
to deck-boards, sponging sunlight.
To grass for love of balls that jump
too high and roll too far.
And I slow down to kneel, to bend,
remembering with fingertips
the velvet of your puppy ears
and how they've never changed.
And I slow down in thanks for grace
in the form of a million tail-wags,
and greetings after longish days
and kisses undeserved.
Eleven now; I too slow down,
determined that when we look back,
you'll know I loved you well enough
to last eleven more.