Our Walkabouts on Burgess

                                             (In memory of Magda: 7/21/87-4/7/98)  

Designed on a continent, then known as the world,
this was everyman's antidote.
One foot pulls the other along
towards a shape
distilled from an ancient self.
Some things cannot be stopped
from traveling.
The lines of our paths
cross in blind loops as we pace
oblivious to each other.

You set out from one floor to the next.
Light, seeping through windows,
fractures into spectrum,
the invisible, hacked into colors.
A journey is all about the right light, of course.
In your hunt for someone familiar
you follow an empty trail.
In more tangible times
you would have killed
any animal crossing your path
to drink and eat its certainty.

I run a search too
skimming words pinned down months, years ago.
I look for threads of a voice,
statements unfinished
selves left swinging
like corpses in the hours just past revolution.
There are new beginnings everywhere, we scream,
the dead are uninvolved.
Still I visit these graves
each filled with a ghost.
Dissatisfied spirits
resist passage.
My journeys are quiet, brief
but manage to feed rage
to the undone.
I feel their punch as I pass, my head
covered in a silk carmine scarf,
my hands wrapped in plastic.
None of these walks takes me home to you.

So suddenly blind, Magda bumps like a seer
off the dining table,
into chairs and sofa.
She walks 
right through ghosts that wander these floors
as they try to drag her in. 
She is nearer than us to the edge,
her lines dissolving
as her vision did.
Her small travel 
from bedroom to kitchen
is braver than all our life searches.

May 1999

Magda was a heartbreaker. One of the first US champions in the late 80's, she gave birth to many famous US offspring and her picture appears in the Official Book of the PON.
However, dog show fame and overbreeding took its toll. When Magda lost value to her breeders, her care was overlooked and she became ill with many serious infections, including heartworm. By a turn of fate, at 6 yrs old, she came to her first real home.
With good care, she recovered from her infections, only to be diagnosed soon after with ovarian cancer. Nevertheless, Magda lived on for several years beyond medical prediction.
During her time she taught courage, sweetness, and best of all, good humor. When we think of her, we can only smile.