Faithful Friend

My pet? Ah, yes

Stolid, Black Labrador with still vibrant, clumsy tail
We’ve seen some things, eh?
We’ve stuck close
Through thick, thin, thinner and thinning hair
We saw off them off with love
My departing children
We stood at the door side-by-side
As they left
One after the other, after the other

Saw him off too
With pots and pans, my best coffee mug
And your dumb, playful barking
But that wasn’t a game
Old pal
You great huggable, soppy, beast

Do you even know
That when you tugged covers from my bed
Desperate for me to let you out
(When I would have willingly laid
To drown in my own brine
Or sleep forever)
You saved my life
Do you even care that
Our walks together
Under these huge skies
Kept me alive

Now you, heavy with age
Less steady on your feet
Often slide to sit
Then sprawl and lie
Where you just happen to be
Hallway, dining room, or lounge
I’ve found you
Panting like a steam train
Letting you rest, recover
Or helping you up, bending double to lift your fat rear
Then guide you to water, or the yard
(You have been so good about that
Mostly)

You struggle to move
Until this one starts cooking
Oh! And then you’ll find strength enough
Despite the aches and pains
To get off the floor
Waddle out to him
Limp after his every step
Stand by him
Sniff his knee, lick his feet
Look up at him with affection
Through those milky-blind eyes
For hours
For what?

A morsel picked from the pan
A rough cut of carrot, split tomato
Dropped on the floor
For you to snuffle around
With your great wet nose
To slaver and slobber it up
Off the dusty floor

Look at you
Doddery, drooling
Pathetic old BITCH
This is how you repay my love?
Those veterinary bills
I could ill afford?

You wait ’til when he’s gone
And, believe me, he’ll go
He won’t stay long
His kind never do
He’ll move on
And then you’ll find, frail fool
You were just another whose heart he played

But don’t worry, honey
I’m not broke
I have been saving up
I’ve enough for one last cheque
You’ll find out soon enough
What betrayal costs

My pet.

n.b. www.napowrimo.net Day 29: Prompt: pet.

CLP 29/04/2020

Oh, Where Have You Come From, My Blue-Eyed Boy?

I come from Malmo

Its low gentle farmland

Mudflats by the Øresund

I come from beneath the cavernous sky

Of the Lincolnshire fens

I come from the tops of Cork’s raging cliffs

And sea-carved bays

I come from coal-stained valleys that cut

Through Merthyr’s coal-drained hills

To Cardiff’s terraced streets

I come from the Blitzed houses of Portsmouth

And its wartime volunteer committees

I come from the smog of The Smoke

And Maidenhead’s Thames

I come from a dormitory town laid out

South of the Downs

 

I come from so many places

Across such a long time

Can I still trust my sources?

I don’t know anymore

 

So, where have I come from

This blue-eyed boy?

 

n.b. NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 11 prompt is origins. As ever I owe Bob Dylan credit and an apology for twisting his lyrics from “Hard Rain”

CLP 11thApril 2019