the permanence of earth

She stands and stares out the window

at the spot in the woods,

unable to comprehend the permanence of the earth

separating them,

or how here can change to gone

somewhere between breakfast and lunch without her knowing.

She churns it over in her mind like a spade turns dirt,

but she is only ten and we are middle-aged

and have grown accustomed to the short life cycle of pets.

But I loved her, she says

with the tenacity of a child


refusing to let go

of a lost balloon.


I console her, stroke her hair

and tell her the story of a dog I once loved.


Next time will be easier.

Death will no longer be so grossly unfamiliar,

so incomprehensible.

I know this

and mourn the loss of it.






About Heidi Stauff

Ultimately ending up in Atlanta, Heidi's creative impulses followed many paths. She delivered middle-class, white-girl, angst to tens and twenties of Generation-Xers through the now defunct rock-band, Belljar. She designed hundreds of dresses for Disney-bound little girls. She birthed two babies she now homeschools, lost and then found her faith again, and writes about all of it in her free time: which is usually after midnight with a glass or three of wine.
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4 Responses to the permanence of earth

  1. Bela Johnson says:

    Lovely, Heidi. Losing a pet never gets easier for me. In fact, in some ways it gets harder. I’m more open than I was as a child. And I take far less for granted. Aloha ❤


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