Sunday, August 18, 2013

Poetics — Dear Bonbon,



You never learned to read but
you are old now and one day
in some foggy otherworld you
may have a knowing that this
is for you.

Puppy, I taught you to count to five
and have since counted my blessings
that the quick commands included my
fingers in scrambled succession -- one,
four, five, three, two --
as well as my voice, as well as
our happy eyes admiring one
another in this learning game
as the years grew to two digits.

Now, while your ears no longer hear
the commands, your eyes -- though hazy --
still can detect what my fingers tell you,
and your voice strongly barks the
correct numbers. I am
proud of you.

Sometimes, while you are sleeping --
harder now than ever before --
my love is so great that I reach to
pet you, often alarming you,
occasionally hardly able to rouse you,
and you gaze unfocused from your bed,
trying to return from another place.

Sometimes, when your head is turned
a certain way and I raise my voice to
just the right pitch and loudness you
react -- not assuredly as in times past --
but dreamily, like you know love just
came around the corner, and you
smile wistfully from across
the room, but you do not
come to me.


Written for dVerse Poets Pub Poetics, where host Mary asks us to write a poem in the form of a letter.
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12 comments:

susan said...

Earlier today I read a story about a little boy whose family lost a beloved dog to cancer. While everyone sat around wondering about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than ours the boy piped up, 'I know why.'

Then he said, 'People are born so that they can learn ho to live a good life - like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.'

Your poem and sweet picture of Bonbon have touched my heart. A few weeks ago we watched a netflix film made in New Zealand called 'Dean Spanley'. I think you'd like it too.

Brian Miller said...

this is touching...makes me think of those best friends that are of a certain age...i wont go further than that...i hope your benton is around for a time to come but know your words are touching...and tell of a special relationship...

Rob-bear said...

Aw, what a sweet post for Bonbon, the Lucky (as in lucky to have you!).

Saw the video of her with her cat earlier this evening. That was wonderful, too.

Blessings and Bear hugs!
desert.epiphanies@sasktel.net
Bears Noting
Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

Fireblossom said...

I know these feelings well, my friend. My beloved Bosco is getting up there now, and is blind, but still has super ears, and he still has his bold sassy spirit. I am grateful for every single day I have with him. Obviously, you feel the same about BonBon.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This is so beautuful and made me full of emotion thinking of my very first dog Boxie. I still miss him to this day :)

Caren Gittleman said...

this was simply exquisite. Thank you for sharing. I have tears in my eyes.
www.dakotasden.net

Mary said...

Oh, Lydia.....I can so identify with this poem. I feel the deep love that you have for your dog. There is no better, no faithful friend. So sad that their lifespans are so short compared to ours isn't it? I could tell that this poem was written from the heart!!

kj said...

Aw Lydia, how can so much love be sad too? Darn that our dogs don't have our lifespans: I think that is an obvious mistake made by the gods and the universe

This picture of bonbon is so deep and precious. It brings me to tears.

We love our dogs ....

Love
kj

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Scarily its now three years since Charlie died and we adopted Giles - which makes Giles four in November and an entirely different cat to the bedraggled one that hid under the sofa for the first month

Pets bring such joy to us and we need to treasure them

Mystic_Mom said...

This is a sweet tribute to an old dog! Well done.

Lydia said...

susan~ That dog story is one of the sweetest ever. "Out of the mouths of babes..." as they say, and in this case the little guy had the right sense, I think. I wonder where you found that movie, and will seek it out. Thank you, friend. Bonbon sends regards!

Brian~ Thanks for the good wishes for Bonbon's longevity. She really looks younger than her 12 years. One day recently we were on a walk and had just crossed a street while an approaching car was a safe two blocks away. When we were on the sidewalk the car slowed down and a young guy yelled out the window, "Awesome Dog!!!"

Rob-bear~ Aw, thanks. I really wish you would visit down here while she's still with us, being a Standard Poodle kind-of-bear and all;)

Fireblossom~ Oh, dear Bosco....he is sure a pal to you and vice versa. I hope his hearing hangs in there because being blind is problematic enough. I bet you are the dearest Guide Mom, though. :)

Optimistic Existentialist~ (Absolutely love your name!) I am honored that this poem reminded you of your beloved first dog. Very touching.

Caren Gittleman~ Thanks, Caren, and now it about time I write poems for each of my kitties! ^.^

Mary~ Yes, it was written from the heart, but I have you and your prompt to thank for its existence. The love was there and I thank you for nudging it into words for dear Bonbon.

kj~ Yes, we love our dogs. And the special tender love you are sharing now with your adoptee is so very inspirational. Thank you for hanging in there with Chase. ♥

Pixies~ You said it all in that last line! I can hardly believe it has been three years since Charlie died.....P.S. the cat toy gift stash just grew again today and I'd better get it mailed before Giles is too old to play with them! ^.^

Mystic Mom~ Many thanks. (We won't tell Bonbon that she is old!)

Margie said...

Such a beautiful dog!
I loved this!

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