Close to Home

In the final days her eyes had failed,
Her legs could hardly walk.
But despite her deafened ears of age,
Iím sure she heard us talk.

Iím sure she heard the words of love
Close to her head we spoke.
Iím sure she felt our loving hands
As her long fur we stroked.

But there was no power in our voice
Nor power in our touch,
That could keep her in this world of ours
With those she loved so much.

And despite the night we never slept,
Taking turns close by her side,
Our faithful dog departed us;
By the morning she had died.

So that day it was up to us
Whom she had left behind,
To put her back into the earth;
Some special place weíd find.

We thought about this farm she loved
All the places she had run;
Deep into the moistened woods,
And across the fields of sun.

There was that year-round spring afar
Where she would stop to drink.
Of course there was the grassy knoll,
"She loved it, donít you think?"

There were paths we followed, both of us,
And paths she walked alone,
Following scents of other things
That we have never known.

In the end it wasnít hard to see
Of the places she would roam,
The dearest spot in our dogís heart
Was a place so close to home.

So just beyond the kitchen porch,
In a yard where we had played,
We buried her beneath a tree
And there, ever since, sheís laid.

Itís a place we pass by frequently
In all seasons of the year.
Itís a place we see through window panes;
Itís a place thatís always near.

I know someday Iíll stop and pause
After walking Ďcross this farm,
Another dog will be by my side;
Perhaps she will nudge my arm.

Maybe sheíll sit for just a while,
But after an hourís roam,
Her eyes and panting breath will say,
"Come on, weíre so close to home!"

© 2005 Skimmer


Skimmer Poems © Robert Hartnett 2005
Robert Hartnett
(518) 296-8841