A stillness falls and dimly-lit,
A bell tolls distantly,
As in this life we numbly sit
For what we cannot see.
The words of grief we hear afresh,
A melody its gloss,
As we seek out our souls ‘neath flesh
Remembered in deep loss.
This room is filled with love-lost ghosts
Of our most private pasts.
We speak but not what we feel most
And calm, though longing lasts.
A heavy hope here drags us high
That “good must come from pain!”
But leave us yet to wonder “Why?”
And slow, revive again.
Still we eat and still we drink,
Though bland without our friend.
Yet passing through, as in a cloud,
We find life in our End.
When I was in second grade, a dream came true: we got a dog. It was rather unexpected, but it was probably one of the happiest days of my life, never mind the fact that our new puppy was sent to live at Grandma and Grandpa’s house a month later (on my birthday no less…worst birthday ever…). I remember taking home the tiny ball of brown fur and showing “Sandy Paws” off proudly to our neighbors. When, a few years later, Sandy Paws returned to live with us, I was excited all over again. Home just was never the same without a little creature begging for food while I tried to eat, running to meet me after school, or napping at my feet as I practiced piano.
That said, it broke my heart to hear that Sandy was suddenly
very sick and, being away at college, to suffer the loss of this beloved dog without my family or even getting to pet him one last time. Honestly, I am dreading returning home for summer vacation a little bit because I know no joyous canine will come running to meet me with doggy kisses and a toy for me to throw. But, as usual, it was easier to express all of these emotions in poetry than unfeeling prose. I’ll miss you Sandy Paws and love you still. Theology may or may not support me on this, but I hope to see you again someday. Until then, this one’s for you:
Human, what’s the matter?
Why is your face so sad?
Can I make it better?
Have I done something bad?
Master, are you alright?
Will you be okay?
I’m trying with all my might,
But just cannot obey.
Friend, will you be secure?
When I can’t be your guard?
Without this watch of fur,
Who’ll scare cats from the yard?
Pal, who will come to greet
You when you’re home from school?
Who will happily eat
The crumbs beneath your stool?
Buddy, who will be there
Beside you when you’re sick?
Who will act like he cares
As you teach silly tricks?
Chum, who’ll fetch what you throw?
Or bark at the front door?
Or be companion as you grow
When I am here no more?
Owner, who will lick your tears,
And offer a chew toy?
I know you’ll miss me, dears.
For I was your “good boy.”