You Are The Answer

Good Morning, may we help you, is how we start our day.
"You won't kill them?" are the first words you say.

They're female, mostly female, nine in this liter,
I gritted my teeth trying not to sound bitter.

You bring LIFE to us and briskly come in.
The novelty now faded along with your whim.

You smile as you offer what to you seems a present.
We smile right back and try to be pleasant.

Your gift is the third since our office just opened.
We're your last resort - but you were just hoping.

For a miracle - nine people to rush in
And choose each pup for a friend.

Our heart has grown heavy - our soul quite sad
You thought we would thank you and surely be glad.

Glad to relieve your careless mistake.
To appear in six months for another retake?

We're a shelter, a place for unwanted animals
Where everyone loses and so many gamble

Humane workers are desperate, weary, forlorn
Concerned for those that should never be born.

This is not what we wanted to be.
Please understand - don't you see? Won't you see?

The hurt that's inside because we do care.
About those nine pups you have over there.

Bouncy and cuddly, cute - so much more,
But you only shrug as you walk out the door.

You left them for us to make the decision
Which ones will die or go right on living.

Only one of ten will be given a home
And for how long a time will she belong

To a family who chooses, for whatever reason,
To return her to us when she is in season.

History repeats, for she will have been bred.
She trembles it seems with fear and with dread.

The face of each worker can plainly be read,
Because they know she will be dead.

We feel that we love her more than you,
There are so many, what else can we do?

You point your finger and say, "Oh the shame.
You put them to sleep, you are to blame.

Little do you realize how we try not to hate you.
And strive with much effort to educate you.

You didn't stay till the end to see us weep
When we had to take them and put them "to sleep".

Euthanasia - a kind death, by definition.
Less birth would be kind, is our declaration

But you go on in your merry ole way,
Forgetting too soon and without much delay

That you cause the problem - You are the SOURCE.
You just won't admit it, of course.

You give our best for the animals and for you
Although the thank-yous are sparse and quite few.

Love and concern carry us through every day
We need you to help THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY.

1979 by Barbara Smith

Source: "mgoose" <[email protected]>

Return to Poetry

** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Home Page




Your comments and inquiries are welcome

This site is hosted and maintained by:
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Thank you for visiting

Since date.gif (991 bytes)