by Sally Odgers
Friday, August 18, 2006
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I sat within a patch of sun,
that hazy autumn afternoon,
alone, and sunk in sorrow's pool
no plans for rising from it soon.
My ship of life had foundered fast,
and run aground upon the reef;
to leak a weeping oceanful,
and break upon the rocks of grief.
(The metaphor's an ugly one,
unfitted for the patch of sun.)
The mounded soil was raw and dark,
above a dear and greying head;
a coverlet for sadness, for
my sweet companion- newly dead.
The cruellest joke I ever heard,
had closed devotion's soulful eyes.
Sweet sixteen is very old
for love that comes in canine guise.
(The phrase is not a proper thought
forgive my slip. I was distraught.)
I blinked and saw a bubble lift
to hover by the willow tree,
in rainbowed iridescence clad;
the crystal shone enticingly.
It hummed a tune subliminal
that almost stole my aching mind;
on palsied legs I ventured close,
with painful purpose undefined.
(I didn’t know, I couldn’t say
what strange machine arrived that day.)
To climb aboard a floating sphere
and close the door without a thought
was clearly madness, so I did.
I knew, you see, that life is short.
The lever warmed beneath my hand,
the needles trembled in the dials;
with swollen eyes I understood
the calibration; years and miles.
(The present days had hurt me so
I thought I'd give the past a go.)
Away, beyond, ago, before,
I let the notions flicker past,
and set the timer back a while;
I had a future in my grasp.
I steered the humming, singing ball
a tidy-seeming sixteen years,
and touched the brake with steady hand;
anticipation sopped my tears.
(I'm sure you guessed where I would go
to find the puppy who'd be Joe.)
I left the time machine in "park",
on pause, on hold, in standby mode,
and ventured gladly to the shop.
Beneath the jangled bell I strode.
"Puppies", said the painted sign,
I closed my eyes, prepared to heal…
then saw a child who beamed and cooed
and held my pup! Could she be real?
(You'll think me daft, a sorry case.
but would you know your former face?)
"But he was mine!" The sentence formed
and trembled at the verge of voice,
yet in my younger self I saw
such happiness. I had no choice.
I watched as she embraced the pup,
in chorus we said softly, "Joe!"
and then, with sadness and a smile,
I said goodbye and let him go.
(You see, I knew the love he'd find,
and give as well, so was resigned.)
I rode the time machine again,
and quietly reversed my plan,
soon stepping from the opal sphere
into the place it all began.
My Joe had lived a joyful life,
and so I chose a gift for me…
A sorry puppy from the pound;
she saved us both from misery.
(The time machine has disappeared
I must have left the thing in gear.)
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|Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
|Reviewed by Ch'erie de Perrot
|Yeah Dog years just don't add up the same, say if you find that time machine, can I loan it, I want my Sheppy back for a day :)
Intriguing write Sally, good to see you back again, missed yah.