My Dogs, A Triptych

One: Pongi
Relinquishing his steed
on the congested corner,
the gallant bus driver
gently raises you from the curbed street
to eye level.
“How did you get here?”

Footing it to the glass doors
Of the gas station,
he pumps Gus,
“Does this belong to you?”
the faithful attendant counters,
plopping you into my garden.

From the timeworn kitchen
filled with breakfast bustling
my mom points through the sliding sash,
“Look. Under the tree. Go see.”

Reaching beneath the stunted pine,
The morning sun starting to kindle,
I lift you from the dusty shade,
“Where did you come from?”

Traipsing through the realm,
concealing you in my arms,
knocking on doors, but not too many,
I petition in a whisper almost to soft to hear,
“Does he belong to you?”
And the much anticipated answer,

He doesn’t belong to anybody!”

My mom, the seamstress,
Caressing soft, tan puppy paws,
“Like a dress I used to have…
Pongee. It was made of pongee.”
“How do you spell that?” I inquire.
“I don’t know.”
“P…o…n…g…i” I ordain.

Two: Wooster
You looked at me that morning
that moment
when time wouldn’t stop for us.
Those sweet, adoring eyes that once smiled, cajoled,
teased me into playing.
The clouded pools cleared.
Two deep black diamonds
penetrated my soul.
You sat so straight and quiet
searching me, then
you understood.
You knew.
It was time.

I heard the first cricket promise of autumn
in that lonely night
before sunrise,
before birdsong,
they welcomed you,
comforting me.

August will always be
the first early crickets
before dawn
before the song,
comforting me.

Three: Bremen
Bremen smiles.
He actually smiles.
Oh, to smooch that cold, wet nose,
scratch those noble shoulders,
rest my cheek on that silken coat.
How could anyone hurt you?

Bremen dances.
Two partners concurring
For a dinner or a cookie or a treat.
The tango begins.
Huge paw plopping onto a lap.
Tender mouth prodding a hand to the prize.
Joyful circles spinning through the room.
How could anyone not feed you?

Bremen races.
What does it mean to play?
Not toys, but running.
Across the yard, up the stairs
Skidding across on the deck.
Just out of reach.
Try to catch me!
How could anyone tie you down?

A bewildering word for one not yet rescued.
An overwhelming word for the lonely.
An expectant word when sweet words are spoken.
A confident word when paperwork is finalized.
Bounding through the house,
A wagging-tail greeting.
Bounding up the stairs,
An inviting nod coaxing a cuddle.
Bounding through the yard,
the chase is on.

We thought we rescued you.

Author’s Note:
I wrote these poems during the Colorado Writing Project in the summer of 2009. We had to put Wooster to sleep several years earlier. If there ever was one, he was my soulmate. I knew I wanted to write something to remember him, but I wanted something special. It took several years to be able to write without tears blinding the page. It is such a joy to look lvoingly at all my pups and see what each brings to my life. Bremen is very different. He’s not long-haired and fluffy like Poni and Wooster. He was terribly abused, so he does a lot of cowering unlike the uncontolled joy and play of the others. But he’s one of the sweetest, smartest doggies that ever was. I am so blessed.

3 thoughts on “My Dogs, A Triptych

  1. Oh, my heart ached at the line "We thought we rescued you." So lovely. I would love to see photos of your doggies. We have a pound puppy too! Foxter is 21, a Pom and so wonderful. I'm grateful for every day with him.

  2. Our furry beasts really touch our hearts. Bremen won't let me take a photo of him. He hides behind me. And if I do get one of him, his ears are down and he doesn't smile. Maybe one day.

  3. I love the way you can put what our furry families mean to us into beautiful words. I have a T-shirt that I love that says "who rescued whom?" I got it after Spencer came home with us.

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