Aaron M. Wilder

When he gets home from college it’ll be that time of year. The Millers’ old lab won’t move from under the withered pines lining their property. They let him lie in the shade all day, bringing him kibbles in stainless steel trays. Wondering when the sun will cool so he can play like he did in spring.

Someday soon he won’t lift his head to watch the children play. He won’t covet the scraps of bacon they lay at his nose. The shine in his eyes will tarnish, and skin will hang idle over his teeth.

By sunset the food will be gone. Stray cats and field mice will have their fill. Not fearing the old lab under the trees. Perhaps the Millers will bury him there, beneath those pines. Take a moment to recall his glory days. That day he came home after wandering for two weeks. That night he came home with blood in his eyes after a bout with a coyote. That time he licked the giggling face of a two-year-old, now home from college to bury a friend.


Aaron M. Wilder is a student of English at Marian College in Indianapolis, IN, where he plays baseball and tennis for scholarship. He hails from the small town of Decatur, IN, where his parents, Susan and Michael Wilder, were also born and raised. After college he plans to attend grad school and hopes to pursue a future as a writer, editor of a literary magazine, or college professor. E-mail: aaron_m_wilder[at]

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