The Family Dog

In my father’s dream
Toto the family dog
bounds up the townhouse steps two at a time.
They’d given up the dog long before.
It was just dad sleeping,
when the drink would let him sleep.

He wrote bright, fierce dreams
that Saturday, his liver gone,
the mantel clock he loved ticking it out,
the handwriting in his journal
spidery and soft.

It’s easy to see that last good wish,
the dog back full of life,
a tonic for his own small stepping,
journal in hand,
each entry ending “cognac?”.