Image for the poem The Old Dog

The Old Dog

( After Stevie Smith )

The sun-warmed porch,    
  its faded wood absorbing heat  
under this arthritic skeleton—  
once a conqueror of meadows    
 and dawn hunting parties.    
I listen to my mistress    
praise cardinals in winter  
  with a neighbor, again;    
  O! how pretty in snow!    
   You know—    
it’s a deceased loved one,    
    visiting us now!
I curl up, unseen,    
  forgotten in age, think. . .    
Ah! to be admired again—  
  a conquistador of duck    
  fox, and downed pheasant.
Trekking the bank    
  behind my Master,    
retrieving his claim    
  of direct aim—splendid shot!  
Tonight we’ll celebrate!
Those were the days,  
  before he died—    
then children, all grown  
  up and moved away,  
without so much a goodbye.        
Did you know, Mistress crooned  
  to the visiting neighbor,    
Cardinals are faithful!    
Never abandoning you    
   in the cold of winter!
I stretch, yawn invisibly    
while awaiting Death—  
despite having it made:  
  eat, sleep, romp, and shit    
is all that’s expected of me.    
A daily brush, weekly bath    
and plenty of treats.    
  Still, I can’t believe  
  it’s the best it can be—  
not when Death promises    
a new form, red with wings.    
So I wait, impatiently  
  for admiration and love  
  to accompany the change,  
especially when I return to visit!      
Nope, I wait impatiently  
  for just how good Life can be.    
Written by Ahavati
Published | Edited 13th Feb 2020
Author's Note
For the Classic Corner Comp, Alone in the Woods:
Inspirational Poem, The Frog Prince:
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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