The Canine Collection of Poems

Eternal sleep


It wasn't all that long ago
I ran the dusty track for show,
devoted and driven my face pierced the wind
as race after race I fought to contend.
Slow at the turn and lacking in grace
I did what I could but I never placed.

I loved to run hard and hear the crowd roar
yet those cheers turned to boos when I didn't score.
Folks lost their money when they bet on me
they tagged me a loser, said "Retire number three!"
I had no idea what I was likely to find
as I walked from the track for the very last time.

My person was waiting, eyes teared and face so long
I sensed inside the sadness that this time I'd not go home.
I tried to change my person's mind and wagged my mighty tail
but I knew deep down without a doubt, like racing I had failed.
We drove along the country roads till we came upon a town
where erected off the main drag was a place known as the pound.

A pretty woman came outside and took me from my crate
my person signed the papers and with one look at my face
said, "I'm sorry that I have to go and leave you here to sleep
but you're not as fast as others, you no longer earn your keep"
I felt my heart break into bits and walked with head bent low
I knew that it was over and I had no place to go.

Inside the dingy building I was checked and tagged and weighed,
a voice said, "We will put him down, tomorrow if not today."
I heard the pretty woman state, "Don't look him in the eye,
he has that greyhound gaze that says, 'I do not want to die.'
They put me in a kennel with the others on death row,
I lay down on the concrete and moaned so soft and low.

Morning filtered through the glass, I stretched my weary bones
the pretty woman came to me and said, "It's time to go."
The hall was long and stark and cold, I did not cry or weep
I used my eyes and face and soul to halt eternal sleep.
She tried her best to use defense and look away from me,
she seemed to know how wrong it was to do this deadly deed.

She bent down close and held my face against her silken cheek,
the needle entered my front leg and quickly I felt weak.
I heard the pretty woman sob as she lay me on the floor,
I saw a last glimpse of her face and then I saw no more.
I may not have been the fastest dog to ever run the track
I just wish someone had loved me so I could have loved them back.


Copyright 1996-2001
Terri Onorato Not for reprint without author's expressed written consent.



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