Holding On

To a life played out in clips

Mary Keating
2 min readOct 14, 2020


Ink drawing of young girl hugging her dog against full moon and midnight blue sky
chiplanay on pixabay.com

“You can come
and pick her up now,”
the receptionist says
over the phone.

We take the short drive
to the vet’s —
shortened further
by my state of mind.

Lately, I can’t remember
how I get from
point A to point B.

Ever since Daddy and I left you
at the veterinary hospital
our lives have been playing out
in clips (clip to clip)
with none of the mundane
scenes in between.

I long for all
the mundane scenes
in between —

to hold them
frame by frame
to memorize
every moment
from point A
to point B —

from the moment I first
clipped on your leash
(every pull
every strain
every stretch
every smell
every sniff
every stink)
until the moment I let you go.

In the waiting room
the receptionist
passes me your leash
and a bag.
“Here she is,”
she says in a hushed voice.

I grip your leash
for fear you’ll slip away —
weigh the bag
in my hands
while Daddy settles the bill.

Is that everything?
There has to be more.
The weight of you
was so much more.

As Daddy hugs me
his tears
flow into mine.
“You can let go
of her leash now,”
he whispers.

But I can’t
because it connects
all our clips
from point A to point B
and tethers us together
for a moment longer
than one lifetime
could ever hold.



Mary Keating

www.MaryKeatingpoet.com Poet, lawyer, disability advocate, Wheelchair rider. Published in SFWP, Sixfold, Scribes Micro Fiction. 2x pushcart nominee.