Monday, January 12, 2009

For Zack

There’s an empty place
where you were. The magpie

laughs at my confusion
as I habitually step over and around

your favourite spot, where you lay
all day, every day, untroubled

by the heavy foot traffic
around you.

It wasn’t always that way; you once
were a great escape artist, capable

of opening gates with your great
black snout, of flipping the lid

off the compost bins giving all your fellow canines
free access to the trough.

You once were legend, delighting children
with your schoolyard visits, timed with the recess bell.

You once were the bear on the path
that sent skiers’ and cyclists’

hearts into their throats, adrenaline surging
in that moment before they recognized your domesticity.

And yet, you once had bones so heavy
and joints grinding, misaligned.

I dream that you have become bird,
bones hollow, movement unhindered

and you soar, finally having won
through infinite patience, release.


Rachel Westfall
January 12, 2009

11 comments:

Papa Mike said...

Zack--from a 'Gentle Giant' of a dog to a bird-- effortlessly flying beyond the 'Angels'.

Zack, my son, may you never feel pain ever again!
Love You, my boy, Big hugs for you wherever you may be...Freedom!

Rachel, THANK YOU for your beautiful thought's from Zack and I.

...Journey On, King Zack,,,,Papa

RachelW said...

You are welcome, Papa Mike. I thought you would call after you read it, but you didn't, so I thought I must have missed the mark with this one. It's nothing but a measure of my own insecurity.

Farewell, Zack; it was a joy knowing you.

christopher said...

Rachel, thanks for showing up. I appreciate this poem. My cat shows up in mine from time to time, usually as a reminder to not get too big for my britches. She was after all, a calendar girl in her day.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

No, you didn't miss the mark! It's all beautifully expressed, but(for me) especially with these words:

"as I habitually step over and around
your favourite spot, where you lay
all day, every day..."

RachelW said...

Thanks, Christopher and Every Photo, for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I tried to capture the juxtaposition of mischief, sadness and stubborn perseverance that comes to mind when I think of Zack.

devilsivy said...

And now we who never met him know him too, through your loving portrait.

S.L. Corsua said...

This is beautiful. From one pet lover to another, I've become speechless. (sniff)

RachelW said...

Thanks, you two...

Gudrun said...

This is a love poem; beautifully written, and thoroughly appreciated. Thank you so much!

RachelW said...

Thanks, Gudrun, for visiting and for your kind words!

Papa Mike said...

Zack....*Love & Light* wherever you may be...

LOVE, Papa...