for Lauren, Gerald and Kyle

I like to think it’s not because
I slipped Kyle some small bits
of beef that his grandpa grilled
in the backyard and the family
ate on the deck under the old oak,

or because I fussed over him
as a good aunt does. Because
the whole family fusses over
this little pudge of a dog—like
his uncle, once upon a time

my little nephew, and others
throwing blue rubber balls again
and again, everyone stooping
low to give him a pat, this happy
guy who adores everyone.

So when Kyle hopped up on
the ottoman where I sat, walking
up my legs, his little Stitch
face grinning at me (as only
French bulldogs can),

I hugged the little fireplug with
the big bat ears, who turned
from the platform of my lap
to look at this little family
of three generations gathered—

with Kyle’s mama due to deliver
the first of the fourth generation
in June—doggie panting, me
thinking on this perfectly ordinary,
wonderfully warm spring day,

not for the first time,
lucky, lucky me.

Aunt Jan and Kyle / Photo: Ashley Just

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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