He was the one she came to first;
dragging her wounded leg through the doggy door
then down the hall and up the stairs to his room where she knew he would be
and laid along the length of her sleeping boy.
In the morning she was weak and the children didn’t know
what the choices were.
Can we save her, mama? They never asked—imagining a pink cast and a fast-
And when she came home again, she carried the arch of innumerable stitches
over the span of her hip
where there was no pillow of fur
over no presence of leg.
We tended to her scar so that it became a map of the path she crawled to find
him that night;
it healed without us knowing exactly what it took.
Patiently, she worked until her balance returned
and soft tufts of fur covered the certain line where her leg used to be.
On three legs, she brings him her gifts now;
she hears his cries and feels his
moods before he does.
And she would never miss a night to sleep by his side,
where friendships commenced in other worlds, collide.