Animal Writes
From 6 November 2005 Issue

She Cannot Say Good-bye

It is a comfortable little place -- their home
and it is paid for, cozy, and theirs alone
Just the two of them, therein, reside
... an older lady and the aging canine

Listening to the radio, as the storm grew
tears well in her eyes, upon hearing the news
She gazes at her friend, and he regards her, too
Reporters are saying everyone must now go...
she was to pack only what she needed from home.

She shakes her head and wonders, Didn't they know?
that folks like her had no means to get away
and no car of their own.

But officials called to say public transport would stop by;
they'd take her and her things, but her beloved friend could not ride
Tears fall as thunder and lightning rent the damp air
Her friend pads over, then leans against her, there in her chair

Sensing her sadness, the old dog wags his tail
As the wind past their porch swells to a wail
he reaches up and reassuringly licks her hand
And as he has always, by her side, he will stand!

She sobs at his sweet, loyal gesture, for he does not know
that on this journey, her dearest friend will not go
They had weathered life's storms and both had grown gray
She worries as they were never long, from the other, away

She rises slowly when she hears the knock on the door
a man takes her bags, saying, "I'm sorry, ma'am, it's
now or never -- we can wait no more."

When the old dog follows her, she says "No, go inside where it's safe."
his expression is one of bewilderment and hurt, as rain pelts his face
When she steps into the bus, she hears him whimper and cry
She cannot turn around to him. She cannot say good-bye

She studies the man who holds her bags, then she steps off the bus
When she reaches her friend, she says, "No future is as important
as the gift that is us."
She bends down and, happily crying, embraces her furry soul mate
"The worst storm ever is near, but alone, you will not have to wait."

Later, as the night explodes 'round them,
and she draws him snug to her side,
he lifts his fuzzy head, stares lovingly at her
and she contentedly sighs.

For on this, their last journey,
the two would be together
always . . .
. . . now . . . and forever

Dedicated to a future where, in a disaster,
we will not be torn apart from our furry kin!
Copyright 2005 by Kathy Pippig Harris

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