The Dreaded

by silvershoes   Mar 9, 2016

Cars and Cancer.
That's what will kill your dog.
One or the other and sometimes both.

My father calls them the dreaded C's.

I picture my dog, weary with age,
swimming, struggling to stay above water.
Waves come crashing on his old body.
He tries and doesn't give up.
He can't bear to let me down,
but his body betrays him.
It's always night.
There's always a stretch of endless sea
with no sight of land.
Maybe cancer isn't different.

Other times, I picture a young pup,
playing, jumping, swallowing
the salty, green water.
He loves the crunch of sand beneath
his wet paws.
He'll swim forever if you ask him,
then you throw a stick where the tide breaks.
In a moment, you've lost sight of your heart
behind the waves.
It happens quickly.
Maybe you find his lifeless body two days later.
Maybe you get a call.
Maybe you're never sure what happened.
Maybe cars are the same.

My father calls them the dreaded seas.


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Latest Comments

  • 2 years ago

    by Maple Tree

    Judge Comments:

    Janes place on words with the Big C's and seas at the end just made me bawl... 2 things that kill a heart: Cancer and the death of an animal.... this poem hits all readers alike! Just wonderful!!

  • 2 years ago

    by Ben Pickard

    Hello Jane

    I feel I've spent more time debating with you than I have reading your rather excellent poetry, so I am trying to rectify that somewhat now!

    Rubbish. Complete nonsense. Hate it.......:)

    No, in all honesty, this read really grabbed me by the unmentionables - twice! - and left me thoroughly moved (as you can imagine)
    The poem as a whole has an almost musing feel to it, as if you yourself are trying to make sense of your thoughts.
    Oh, and that final line really is rather clever.

    Excellent piece of writing.
    All the very best,

  • 2 years ago

    by Fan Angeleo

    Nothing will be forever, those words I think of, your poem is like eternity in this grave story nothing will be forever on earth but in heaven.

  • 2 years ago

    by Em

    This is so moving. I like how you reminisce about the good old days.

    Cancer has a lot to answer for!!

  • 2 years ago

    by Yakari Gabriel

    I wish I have not become this vague idiot who doesn't know how to talk in depth about things that hit her hard...

    or maybe it just that I can't find words to describe how this poem made me feel.

    its a hard week for judges,
    so many jewels.

    You are an outstanding writer Jane.