The Canine Collection of Poems

Joy To the World

"Joy to the World!" - I can hear the people sing
In the building down the road where all the bells do ring
What is this *joy* they sing about I wonder to myself
As I lie here in the cold and wet upon this bare wood shelf
My sable fur once soft and clean is matted to the skin
My rib and hip bones jutting out - I can barely raise my chin
There are others too at this sad place who share a common fate
What did we do to earn this life and get in such a state?

I had some puppies here with me about a week ago
But they're gone now and I'm glad 'cause its begun to snow
Does God know I loved and nursed them - tried to keep them warm
Though in the end - it mattered not, they were never safe from harm.
Are snowflakes really frozen tears from Heaven up above
To comfort those like us alone and lost with no one left to love?
The snowflakes fall so soft and still and muffle out the cry
Of the old one in the next cage down; I think she's going to die.
A glow appears amongst the flakes and slowly takes the form
Of a dog like me in better times, it approaches through the storm.
The old dog breathes just one more time and suddenly lies still
An empty shell is all that's left, my prophecy fulfilled.
The glowing dog floats to her cage - the door opens on its own
He leans over her still, thin form and says, "I've come to take you home."

"Home to the Bridge where there is light and soft grass on which to play
The sun shines always - warm and bright - all through out the day.
You'll have a lap in which to sit, hands to softly stroke your face
Someone to show the love to you that you missed in this sad place."
With that, the old one floated up and took her place along side -
Once again she's young and whole - then the two began to glide.
I cried out as they began to leave, "Please take me there with you!
Don't leave me in this horrid place. Is there nothing you can do?"
The glowing one turned and smiled and said, "Its not your time
To travel to the Bridge my friend." Then I heard a faint, soft chime.
Eyes raised above, he listened close and looked at me again.
"Its Christmas Eve, you now must go to the building down the lane
Where the bells do ring this night of nights and you will sit and wait
In the stable filled with straw and light next to the wooden gate.
When the singing stops and people leave, one will stop and see your face
Be not afraid, for this is one who has an inner grace. She rescues those
who are lost or hurt and keeps them safe from harm. You will find the
Bridge on earth my friend when you settle in her arms."

With that he turned with my old friend, his glow grew very bright
It surrounded both, his wings unfurled and they flew away from sight.
I sat a moment in the dark and then heard a small pop
The door to my cage had opened up - I leapt out with a small hop.
My shaky legs took me to the lane where I could see the light
From the building with the ringing bells, my little heart grew tight.
But I thought of what the glowing dog had said and then I was at peace.
My fear was gone, strength filled my soul, I felt a strange release.
Not knowing what the world would hold in store for one as small as me
Faith gave me strength as I trotted slowly on towards my new destiny.

Cyndee Walklet '99

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