Healing Moment

I am sitting on the kitchen floor;
I have fallen again.
You are oblivious,
upstairs in the shower
singing your heart out.

The dog walks over to me,
covers me from head to toe
in healing spit;
I stroke his head,
turn my thoughts and

ask if he remembers when
we used to run in the field,
how he carried sticks far too wide to
fit through the gap in the hedge
so we walked the long way round.
The days I threw the ball and
he sat there looking at me,
embarrassed, it seemed,
that I could do something so silly.
His soft paw prints on frosted grass,
my footprints, solid, healthy, firm.

We have come a long way together
over the years, the dog and I;
friendship, understanding, trust, love,
and healing –
yes, much healing.

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64 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ina
    May 29, 2015 @ 14:04:27

    Oh this is lovely but also so sad. Jack is such a good friend to you though. The last line made me smile, thinking about the different meanings of to heal πŸ™‚ Hope that was intended! ❀ xxx

    Reply

  2. Peter Wells aka Countingducks
    May 29, 2015 @ 14:07:34

    There is a loving connection and companionship with pets which really does surpass all understanding. I just wish you weren’t ill, of course, but you are rich in love which is a deep blessing

    Reply

  3. Bennison Books
    May 29, 2015 @ 14:23:32

    Going ‘the long way round’ sometimes reaps its own benefits perhaps (in more ways than one?). A mundane moment made into a special moment – one of the hallmarks of your writing. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  4. lscotthoughts
    May 29, 2015 @ 14:37:31

    Oh, Chris, your first two lines made me tear up. What a visual moment you conveyed with your hubby singing his heart out not knowing. I hope my perception is right. And the friendship, loyalty and love between you and Jack is heart tugging and precious through all your years together. This is another honest and beautiful poem…β™₯

    Reply

  5. Rob McShane
    May 29, 2015 @ 14:40:03

    The routine into the special – your speciality! Nicely done Chris!
    So now, instead of long walks, you are covered in healing lather! Mmm – yes, long walks sound better! πŸ™‚
    Do hope you are not hurt! Hugs across the sea!
    It is so special, and such a talent, to take these moments that we have and make them real, accessible and meaningful to others. When I read your writing I go ‘Yep! Can relate to that one!’

    Reply

  6. LΓ©a
    May 29, 2015 @ 14:55:07

    First off, I hope that you came off that floor intact! Second, a lovely poem about someone who has your back. πŸ™‚

    Pets are much better than humans at unconditional love. There is much to be learned from them. Yet many still call them ‘dumb animals’. xxx

    Reply

  7. roughwighting
    May 29, 2015 @ 14:57:25

    Our dogs are always there for us. Once I fell (seizure), alone, couldn’t move, and my golden laid by me, keeping me warm, for many hours. His love healed.
    Beautiful poem.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 29, 2015 @ 16:31:09

      Aw your story brought a tear roughwighting. Jack is a retriever. Is yours the same or a lab? They both have beautiful personalities.

      Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 29, 2015 @ 17:16:29

      I can totally understand. I don’t think the grieving stops; it just changes. Jack is 11 in July,so he is not a youngster anymore. And I still grieve for our West Highland White terrier who died aged 9 eleven years ago. Only ‘animal’ people can understand this special love.

      Reply

  8. Norma (Through My Eyes)
    May 29, 2015 @ 15:15:26

    Oh this made me cry Christine. So evocative, especially these lines about how it was, “His soft paw prints on frosted grass, my footprints, solid, healthy, firm”. Dogs are just so special too. I love them to death. So sorry you had a fall 😦

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 29, 2015 @ 16:36:56

      Thank you Norma. Yes, dogs are so very special. I’m used to falling now, it comes as part of the package unfortunately. My balance is shot at Im afraid. But at the time of falling, it is still a horrible experience. It’s more the feeling of helplessness than the actual pain, knowing you just can’t get up however hard you try. But the whole MS thing could be a lot worse. Well, that’s what I say on a good day. On a bad day you probably wouldn’t want to hear me! 😊 xx

      Reply

  9. Jennifer's Journal
    May 29, 2015 @ 15:24:24

    I hope the fall wasn’t too serious. Hugs!

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 29, 2015 @ 16:38:49

      Thank you Jennifer! Some.rather richly coloured bruises but apart from that I was left intact. Dignity disappears for a while but that can be restored!! 😊 Thank you for the hugs xx

      Reply

  10. Cynthia Jobin
    May 29, 2015 @ 16:28:29

    This is the kind of moment I know very well, Chris. Even human empathy doesn’t come close to the purity of the dog’s urge to help and heal you. I would bet Jack isn’t thinking at all about the past (we humans do that to ourselves!) but is totally into making you better., at this very moment. You’ve captured this poetically, beautifully.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 29, 2015 @ 16:43:26

      Cynthia, you are so absolutely right; Jack was on.a mission to help and to heal, and totally in the moment, unlike me, (I?) who was meandering through the forest of the past. πŸ˜„. If a certain someone wouldn’t sing ALL the time, I would have had less time on the floor to reminisce! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

      Reply

      • Cynthia Jobin
        May 29, 2015 @ 17:49:23

        But one must finish one’s Aria! You gave me a good laugh with the certain someone singing….think of it this way: just enjoy the solo concert because it could be worse….you could be alone and panicking about how long you will have to stay there on the floor….like that woman in the ad for an emergency notification service who says: “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Since I am alone, I live in fear of falling. Once, a couple of years ago, I sprained an ankle and couldn’t walk. I crawled to the kitchen and discovered I could reach the ice cubes from a kneeling position on the floor. My dog stayed right by my side, slowly walking with me, trying to lick my face, as I crawled along!

  11. journeyintopoetry
    May 29, 2015 @ 18:00:55

    I certainly appreciate his ‘presence’ πŸ˜„ but sometimes I could wrap his Arias round his lovely face. There is a poem in the book about his singing, all of which is true; he really does sing arguments! I do love him but…πŸ˜„

    Reply

  12. Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC
    May 30, 2015 @ 17:46:06

    Nice blog, I am following you now! I am disabled too, never give up!!!

    Reply

  13. Laurel's Reflections
    May 30, 2015 @ 18:33:28

    You have such a talent for caputuring both pain and beauty; frustration and loneliness, and the joy of a wonderful cross-species friendship. Sending you love x

    Reply

  14. katepoet
    May 30, 2015 @ 23:15:43

    Very quick response:

    Shadow

    Shadow does not come when I call,
    He knows that I cannot command him
    though I act as if he must listen,
    my mental attitude framed the right way.
    He does not care, makes it quite clear –
    he is not my dog.

    I am useless in my wheelchair,
    Shadow knows my limits and mocks me,
    keeping the stick just out of my reach.
    I cannot wrestle him or chase after the ball I throw.
    I wait for my son to bring me a toy to toss.

    Shadow smiles at me,
    but he will not fetch for me,
    One day I might not be as able as I am,
    yet even now I cannot command this stubborn beast;
    how much will he ignore me when I cannot throw at all?

    My son says Shadow will learn,
    I do not think so,
    He will not sit quietly with me on the ramp.
    He does not do as I direct at all
    My son commands for Shadow to give me the stick.

    Back at my desk, when I am feeling most useless,
    into my room black Shadow comes.
    He lies down on the floor near me,
    resting and content for a while,
    my silent, gentle companion.
    In some ways, perhaps, he is my dog after all,

    Β© Kit Minden 2015

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 31, 2015 @ 09:10:17

      This is beautiful Kate. And I am absolutely sure Shadow is your dog. Jack hardly ever does what I want him to either but I know he’s my dog, he shows it in other ways as Shadow does, sitting byyou, a very special companion.

      Thank you for this lovely response. 😊

      Reply

  15. Betty Hayes Albright
    May 31, 2015 @ 02:28:13

    Christine, such a poignant, gentle, wistful, sad, and loving poem. It tears at my heartstrings. (I hope you’ve recovered from this recent fall. It sounds so painful and difficult, and yet you created such a sweet poem from it.)

    BTW, I just ordered your book, finally!! Am looking forward to its arrival. πŸ™‚

    Take care, my friend. Hugs to you.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 31, 2015 @ 09:13:45

      Thank you Betty! I keep saying I’m used to falling, but you never really do get used to it; each one is just as horrible and the shock is sometimes the worst part. But I usually get over them fairly quickly. I just dread breaking or spraining a limb on my good side!

      Thanks so much for ordering the book!

      Love and hugs xxx

      Reply

      • Betty Hayes Albright
        Jun 07, 2015 @ 20:50:37

        Chris, just wanted to let you know your beautiful book arrived yesterday!! I’m really excited to finally have it in hand, and am eager to read and savor it all. (Gorgeous cover with Diane’s artwork.)

        Hope you’re recovering from your last fall – please take care. And I’ll try to reply to your last email soon. Sending a gentle hug to you!

      • journeyintopoetryj
        Jun 08, 2015 @ 08:10:19

        Oh yay! That’s great Betty. So pleased you have my book and thank you so much for buying it. I hope you enjoy the poems.

        I’m fine now; I seem to recover quite well from the falling; Zim always relieved to realise nothing is broken, fingers crossed!

        My book launch was last Friday; it went very well. I will probably write a blog post about it sometime soon.

        No rush for the email reply. I hope you are as pain free as possible. Hugs xxx

  16. Jane Thorne
    May 31, 2015 @ 17:09:11

    I am so sorry you fell and I hope you are OK? I could picture Jack beside you. Complete understanding and unconditional love from your four legged buddy..the love our animals flow is so pure. No matter where we are, what we look like and how much of a tangle we may be in…they love us regardless…. You put it across, this moment in time, so poignantly Chris. I was there with you both in the kitchen. I love you very much ❀ ❀ ❀

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 31, 2015 @ 17:26:56

      And soon you really will be in the kitchen! ❀️Thank you my lovely friend. It wasn’t a recent fall, but one a few weeks ago. I wrote about It and then forgot it was there so decided to post it after it went down well with the writing group last week. Falling is a very familiar experience these days but it’s always just as horrible. The only way I won’t fall would be to be in a wheelchair and that is not happening! Not yet anyway! Love you very much too xxx❀️❀️Xxx

      Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 31, 2015 @ 17:41:36

      Yay! xxx❀️Xxx

      Reply

  17. Minuscule Moments
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 01:52:24

    Chris Im sorry you had such a tough day. I think of you and your courage and that gorgeous dog. My cats are making sure I get plenty of cuddles while I rest and wait for my time at the specialists (nothing serious). My fatigue is so frustrating and I can only imagine how it is for you. Hope the week goes well. Such a well expressed piece.

    Reply

  18. kathryningrid
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 17:00:52

    So relieved to read that you didn’t break any bones or do any worse damage than a mass of bruising, Christine. What good *did* come out of the adventure was, naturally for you, a thoughtful poem of unvarnished truth and yes, loveliness.

    The special magic of this one, for me, is in reading the line about the soloist in the shower: I read it as universally true rather than simply specific. At our moment of need, every one of us knows that help is farther (*and* further) away than we wish. More than that, we’re all yodeling, oblivious and out of reach, so much of the time because we can’t help being absorbed in our own moments and lives, forgetful of all elseβ€”no matter how much we love, but maybe even *because* we love so much and have to hide from it at times. I speak for myself, definitely, here. Still, I suspect it’s a widespread phenomenon on both sides of the event.

    xo,
    Kath

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Jun 01, 2015 @ 17:17:25

      Thanks Kathryn! The soloist in the shower doesn’t restrict his wonderful Arias to that small cubicle; he does it everywhere all the time! “Bless him”, she says with gritted teeth! 😊. And yes, I think it is universally true too.

      If life goes straightforwardly for me I won’t have anything left to write about!. A strange blessing, but a blessing nonetheless I guess! πŸ˜„ xxx

      Reply

  19. bardessdmdenton
    Jun 07, 2015 @ 21:23:16

    Just beautiful … difficult … amusing … poignant … so often I think of the journeys my kitties and I have been on, and, especially, how they have made it all – through good and bad – seem worthwhile. This is your poetry at its best, Christine! XO ❀

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetryj
      Jun 08, 2015 @ 08:04:30

      I thought you might well relate to this one Diane; the bond we develop with our animal friends is so very special. What would we do without them? There would be so much missing in life. And thank you for your lovely comment about my poetry; you have been and still are a rock for me and my writing. Such support over the years has played a huge part in my arriving where I am today.

      Love and hugs xxx❀️

      Reply

  20. Wendy L. Macdonald
    Jun 09, 2015 @ 03:28:00

    Lovely, simply lovely. ❀ I'm a dog person more than a cat person, Christine, so I can picture the love that's exchanged between you and Jack. Falls are scary as we age. I hope you didn't crack anything except a smile at your beloved dog.
    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy ❀

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetryj
      Jun 10, 2015 @ 14:31:40

      Thank you Wendy! Nothing cracked like you say, except a smile 😊. Oh and a few simultaneous tears, both of sadness at how life now is and joy at the love of Jack. Yes the falling is scary but unfortunately part of the package that comes with MS if I want to keep walking, well kind of walking! 😊 xx

      Reply

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