Walking Beside You

by Dean Blehert

Walking ahead of you
(it is hard for me to walk at your pace),
I worry: What if an alien craft
were to beam you up, just you.
I’d be walking along, turn back–
you’d be gone

So I slow down to walk beside you.
Still, with a narrow beam,
they could pick off you alone,

so I put my hand on your shoulder,
but maybe they’d take you
and just my hand,
and you’d worry,
what happened to the rest of me,
did I bleed to death,
or did the beam cauterize my stump?–
you’d never be certain.

Would you save my hand?
Would they let you remember me?
I’d never be certain.

Our old dog would be barking like mad,
snarling at the empty sky.
He’d be inconsolable.
They’d put me away, too–
In jail if I had no explanation,
or in an asylum if I tried
to tell the truth.

How nice to walk along,
(the dog nuzzling our hands
then falling behind
to sniff at the grass)
kicking the autumn leaves,
beside you.