September 27, 2018

Hymn for an Aging Dog by Eira Needham

You pushed into life as I slept, 
flashed past in a vision, 
chasing a tabby away 
from our Braeburn tree. 

Four years on, I recognised 
your huge pirate patch 
and we rushed seventy miles
 to adopt you.

 I will not forget -

my husband lay prostrate in ripples, 
you howled ceaselessly until 
they heard further along the bank
and hotfoot it to drag him out.

May you drift away in reverie 
of bounding by the river with us 
before you paddle in to lap.
When death arrives, leash in hand 

may he gather you gently,                                            
not with a merciful potion, 
but dreaming
on your jungle green bed.

Eira Needham is a retired teacher, living in Birmingham UK, with her husband and greyhound, Maggie. Her other pets, leopard geckos and corn snakes, sometimes slither into a poem or two. She was Featured Writer in WestWard Quarterly and came first in Inter Board Poetry Contest, August 2017.

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