I was 16 when Mocha died.

I should have seen it coming.

She'd been sick for a while, we'd had to cut her tail because of a tumor and she couldn't breathe too well.

She wouldn't go back upstairs, no matter how hard I tried.

The last thing she heard as she twitched and spasmed on the cold dirty basement floor was me screaming her name.

My brother thought it was his fault, thought the gate had been left open and she'd been hit by a car.

Trying to get through it was just as much of a nightmare.

I ate Chinese food  I played Fire Emblem.  I almost screamed at my grandmother for insisting she was "In doggie heaven" and actually screamed at my brother for trying to give away her treats and toys while she wasn't even out of the basement.

I felt like the world needed to stop for a day or two, just give me my time to grieve without everything happening at once.

Of course it didn't.

I still have her caterpillar toy.

She's on my mom's dresser in a little box.

And I always say goodnight and "I love you" to her.

I feel like if I stop, she'll forget.

And she'll really be gone.

This poem is about: 
My family


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