To Be Honest

To be honest, if you wanted all the chairs
I would let you have them, not just the one
in the dining room where you watch us
and sleep, alternating eyes open,
flickering in a dream, your throat swallowing
under its thumb of white.
To be honest, I need to walk more,
and I cheer for you about the chicken bones
(even though I know they’re not good)
because I know how you scavenged
to stay alive, and it’s good to feel capable,
to know you still can. You trot ahead of me
with your tail up, all the way home.
To be honest, on your second day here,
when I emailed to say
I couldn’t go to a thing for work
because you were new and crying,
and seemed to need me most of all,
it felt like maternity leave again.

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