This is a tragic poem, Jane. Interestingly, I just saw a commercial about how cigarette smoke could cause your pets to get cancer. It broke my heart. I don't know how I would feel if I found out I cause my pets to get cancer, if I were to smoke. I just thought that commercial might tie into this somewhere.
I find it interesting that you used dogs in this poem. I was wondering why you did not use any other animal, like a cat or a bird or something else? The use of a dog makes it a lot more tragic, in my opinion, because dogs are often described as 'man's best friend.' I am not really a dog person myself, but just thinking about how something that might love someone so much will die, is heart wrenching. Now that I think about it, where I am from it is more common to see cats on the side of the road than dogs. I have only seen a few dogs but as for cats I see them almost every day. I am not trying to offend you or anything...it was just a thought that I had. From what I have heard, dogs do seem to be more prone to cancer.
The imagery that you used here is astounding. I can imagine the aged dog trying to stay above the water, and I can imagine the puppy being swept away. Both of them are equally tragic. They struggle to make it to your side once again, but they were unable to make it.
This poems brings back the pain that I have experienced with my own losses.
Of course I'm not offended. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my poem and comment.
I love all animals. I loved Milo, my cat, more than anyone or anything I've ever loved, so if preference for a species is to be measured, I must be more of a cat person. I chose "dogs" for this poem because I felt "pets" would be too vague, though all pets can be killed by cars and cancer, you're right. Also, my dad really does say, "Cars and cancer" when talking about dogs and how they tend to die. His closest relationship was to our family dog, Lou, who died of cancer at age 12. My dad was Lou's favorite person. I was his second favorite.
That's good to know about the relationship between smoking and cancer in pets. No one in my home smokes. Nevertheless, very good to know, and I'll pass that information along to some animal lovers I know who do smoke.
Jane, this poem is so moving. Each line grabs my heart. The part about cancer made me think along the lines of what Spontaneity said. I started smoking the same time I got my own dog. I've made it a vow to never go out and smoke at the same time I'm walking him, even if he's a few feet away... I've read articles about how much it affects them. Actually the other day I passed a car where the driver was smoking and the dog was right next to him. That really concerned me. I don't think it's always realized how much certain things can affect others, not just humans but our pets. I know I probably wouldn't have thought it was a big deal until I saw an article about it.
Including what your dad said about the "C"s was very personal and powerful in this poem. My heart ached reading it.
I can see, just from what you've written and some of your posts, how much you loved Milo and that love is something that can never be broken, it's so strong. I can feel that even though I obviously never met you or Milo. And I think it goes without saying (even though you did in your response) that you love all animals. And that truly shines through your poetry. It's such a genuine love. Whether for a cat, dog (as in this poem) or any animal. And the physical, emotional, mental pain of losing ANY animal is hard to write about because it's still there in a way. I know during my down days I have bad "nightmares" or "visions" of Baxter being let loose somehow or him chasing after an animal and me losing grip of the leash and he goes into the middle of the road (which is very close to our house) or falls in the ditch (behind our house). That need to protect him and kind of be his mother, if you can call it, will always be there.
Our pets are such symbols of innocence and truly teach us how to love.
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.
1 year ago
by Ben Pickard
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,