Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 44

Firstly, I saw THIS yesterday and thought it was so fun. Could you make a living doing this? I don't know, but it's pretty cool.

Secondly, there is no deeper meaning in this poem for me. I just like it. It makes me cry every time.

Dog's Death

John Updike

She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
To young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
And to win, wetting there, the words, "Good dog! Good dog!"

We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.
The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.

Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed
And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest's bed.
We found her twisted limp but still alive.
In the car to the vet's, on my lap, she tried

To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur
And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.

Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhoea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there. Good dog.


Molly Sabourin said...

Oh my gosh, that poem is SO touching (and I'm not even a big fan of dogs)! It is beautifully written as well. Kris, I loved the link you posted to Zack Houston! Maybe you and I can pull something like that off at the European Market! Hee hee. Can you imagine? : )

Emily Lorelli said...

Kris -- I'm crying too! Yet I am so not sorry to have read this lovely poem. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

Beth Hanna said...

Reminds me a little bit of Peanut, who was found - and rescued from - a garbaga can! But the happy thing is, she lived and brings joy and happiness to our household!

Beth Hanna said...

Any way I can edit my comment??? It should be "garbage" can, not "garbaga" can - whatever that is!

amber said...

This is such a sad, sad poem! Tears are welling up in my eyes. Thanks for posting it!

Jenny said...

I am so moved by this poem, beautiful & heartbreaking. That line about her heart "learning to lie down forever," makes me ache. But the poem is also hopeful--I love that she was held, loved, still puppyish, until her last moment.

Ruthie said...

"And her heart was learning to lie down forever."

I love this line too! But I think the last stanza made me stop the longest--very poignant in a way I don't even want to try to verbalize, although I probably could--I only want to stop and maybe repeat 'good dog' slowly a few times in my head.

Anonymous said...

I forgot about this poem . . . and yes, it still brings tears. Reminds me as well of hiding behind the sofa as a child, bawling as I read Where the red fern grows :-)

Julia said...

The link is great. I hope he makes a lot of money doing that-- my kind of success story.
The poem captures dog nature so perfectly. Dog nature just really cuts to the heart.

Beth said...

This poem reminded me of one of our favorite films, Babe though the two have nothing in common. But we cry every time the Farmer says to Babe, "That will do pig. That will do." Peace to you. B