by Mary Oliver
She would come back, dripping thick water, from the green bog.
She would fall at my feet, she would draw the black skin
from her gums, in a hideous and wonderful smile----
and I would rub my hands over her pricked ears and her cunning elbows,
and I would hug the barrel of her body, amazed at the unassuming perfect arch of her neck.
It took four of us to carry her into the woods.
We did not think of music,
but, anyway, it began to rain
Her wolfish, invitational, half-pounce, her great and lordly satisfaction at having chased something.
My great and lordly satisfaction at her splash
of happiness as she barged
through the pitch pines swiping my face with her
wild, slightly mossy tongue.
Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
He is wiser than that, I think.
A dog lives fifteen years, if your're lucky.
Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
think it is all their own music?
A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you
do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the trees, or the laws which pertain to them.
Does the bear wandering in the autumn up the side of the hill
think all by herself she has imagined the refuge and the refreshment
of her long slumber?
A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
Does the water snake with his backbone of diamonds think
the black tunnel on the bank of the pond is a palace
of his own making?
She roved ahead of me through the fields, yet would come back, or
wait for me, or be somewhere.
Now she is buried under the pines.
Nor will I argue it, or pray for anything but modesty, and
not to be angry.
Through the trees is the sound of the wind, palavering
The smell of the pine needles, what is it but a taste?
of the infallible energies?
How strong was her dark body
How apt is her grave place.
How beautiful is her unshakable sleep.
the slick mountains of love break
From New and Selected Poems Volume 1
Amy has been gone 4 weeks today...I miss her terribly and still find it hard sometimes to believe she is gone but today I received a card my vet sent with caring kind words...totally unexpected and I was brought back to that day but tonight opened my book, New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1 by Mary Oliver to look at papers inside it only to find this poem and the first line that jumped out to me was: "A dog lives with you for 15 years, if you are lucky." And I was lucky...So after the surprise of that line, I read the whole poem, realizing she was writing about her own loss of a dog...amazing, I can always turn to Mary Oliver and she can express for me, through her own grief...to express for me even when that was not my intention, or even knew it was there to be read regarding the loss of her dog...I was actually looking for something I have lost track of and it belongs to the library, have not seen it sence the day Amy died...life is funny, you get what you need sometimes when you are least expecting it...the item is still missing.
It was so comforting to read comments yesterday...others coming up a long side and speaking a few words is so encouraging...thank you. Animal people are some of the best, kindest people...
Thanks for reading...have a great day.