Holly (Poem)

Kealan McAllister’s tribute to his family pet. Photo Source: Fresh Eye Solutions.

Kealan McAllister, Contributor. 

A roar, a thud, all around was black

Cracked bones grating in my broken back

A man’s warm embrace, bright lights, polished steel

That’s all I remember, that’s how I did feel

I awoke in a cage, but not frightened was I

For warming, encircling me, another dog did lie

Black and white, sleek of fur was she

Not ginger and scruffy and matted like me

Often the man that had embraced me before

Would come and let us out and lay food by our door

Although walking at first was beyond what I could do

I yearned to someday frolic with my sister too

Sometimes the man would bring with him his young

Quick were we to adorn them with affections of tongues

With them we would wrestle and roll and play

How happy we were! O such wonderful days!

My back had now healed, and now it did seem

I’d given life to my vision, which was once but a dream

Through bushes we’d crash, along rivers we’d pelt

Other dogs smelled our butts, and their butts we smelt

The children, once little, were much older now

Two of red hair, the other of brown

Each would come alone and sit with us there

Comfort and trust and love we did share

One day I awoke to a cold, misty dawn

I looked, and I searched, but my sister was gone

Although I knew not why, or for what I should grieve

How alone I felt! O why did she leave?

The children, much older, and much bigger now

Always seemed to be busy, less time they endowed

To petting and playing and happy to be

I undertook to give back what they’d given to me

I’d limp around behind them, before them I’d stand

Over my head I’d flick their slackened hands

Better friends to me they could not have been

Never a kinder dog in their lives had they ever seen

Once more I awoke to a warm golden dawn

Flecked with silver and grey, my bronze coat shone

The door was opened, I heard the birdsong

But I stumbled, I faltered, something was wrong

My vision was clouded, all keeled to one side

Though I tried, my balance I could not find

In my head was a pain greater than when my back broke

My carer looked solemn, I had had a stroke

Each child came in turn to hold me to them

Their natures had blossomed, and I was the stem

He of brown hair thanked me as he wept his goodbye

Then in came my carer, and I painlessly died.

Although dead and buried I may be

I still walk these halls noiselessly

My body decomposed, returned to the ground,

To them my spirit perpetually bound

Sometimes he of brown hair, now truly a man

Looking more like his father when our friendship began

Will come to the fireplace, at the foot of my bed

And stare at the place I once laid my head.

I feel his yearning for days of old,

Those memories both we will always hold

And although in him they may fade and grow dim

My ghost, my love will always follow him.

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