Saturday, December 22, 2018

"Rescue Dog" by Terri Lynn Cummings

Rescue Dog
Terri Lynn Cummings
I turn to Abbey
when others turn away
when I do not want
my words repeated
when I speak
of nothing or nonsense
on days hollowed
by sorrow

She cocks her head
eyes wide in wonder
stands on my feet
anxious I will leave
as I doubt 
whether anyone ever
belongs to a life
What more is this

but an afternoon 
or a moment’s bow to loss
while I, like she, nothing
but water and air
stitched in skin
ill-shaped and faded
am soothed in mid-sentence 
by paws

Poet’s Notes:  In May, we lost Abbey, the best dog we had ever had. I continue to write about her. Perhaps it is less painful to write about our dog than the more recent loss of our young nephew to opioid addiction. Perhaps the mere thought of Abbey has the power of consolation. Whatever the reason, I thank her again and again.

Editor’s Note:  What a lovely tribute to Abbey, and such a beautiful rendering of how the instinctive empathy of dogs may brighten our days.  Dog owners will really identify with this poem (as do I), and I daresay pet owners in general will as well.

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