When the owner said, “Blue Heeler,”
I thought “Blue Healer” because
I don’t know anything about dogs, and
I imagined a service animal that sees
auras and sniffs out sadness
which struck me as odd, given all the
Second Amendment art forms
scattered around the house, but I thought
You just never know, do you? and
decided that the New Age and the
Confederate Flag could, perhaps in this instance, exist in the same sphere.
But “heal” is actually “heel,”
as in the lump of muscle at the
back end of the foot, and
Blue Heelers do just that —
nip at the backs of heels to
make something goes where it’s
supposed to go.
They herd them.
Keep them in their groups.
Lead the strays back to the flock.
Protect the flock from prey.
I feel protected writing this poem.
This Blue Heeler at my feet.
And yesterday when you died,
she never left my side and
she even put her head on
my lap when I cried. So
perhaps she is a Blue Healer, the
black and white of her fur
casting its cobalt glow, her eyes
taking me in,
bringing me back
making me whole.