I didn’t know what the word meant. So, I looked it up. Had to do with a dirge and I just couldn’t go there, been writing about the dead for so long. Suicides on the news. A celebrity chef dispatched to parts unknown and a pretty handbag lady lost it, used a red scarf. Reminded me of Jim Harrison’s line in Letters to Yesenin regarding his attempt – his child’s red robe on the door knob yelling, Stop. The Russian poet Yesenin used a rope. My poetic father used a belt and I thought about the times I came close to despair. Cowardly me, I couldn’t see the act through. Tell the truth. Lucky me, I had children late; like Harrison’s daughter, they saved me. I couldn’t pass on my father’s dark legacy; a parent’s suicide is a gift that keeps on giving. Better to get a dog, a black dog with tangerine eyes and a tail that never stops wagging. Oh, I miss her—our Coco. I want another dog but I can’t bear the thought of the eventual loss.