There’s only one animal.
Never mind how much I admire
almost lustfully other species.
The great eagles that used to coast
on thermals outside our windows
when we lived near The Pinnacle
across from the Border Ranges.
Like dancers. Or like high divers
when they arrowed for their prey.
Sleek felines, big or domestic,
their shapes and the way they move.
Again, predators. Is it that I love
efficient, ruthless savagery?
Not so. I don’t love crocodiles.
(Sorry, Steve Irwin.) Cold brutes!
Nevertheless there is only
one animal. Not even the right kind.
Really I’m a cat person (obviously).
Not so mad on dogs. They’re nice enough….
Merely the only animal? Flint
is more: the only dog.
(A pang as I think of Dakota –
but he was mostly wolf.)
Flint who stood the height of my thigh.
Flint with the curly brown coat
and smooth forehead as if his hair was styled.
The slim front paws, the strong back legs.
Flint who was all kindness
despite his size and baying bark.
Flint who would have died for me.
Didn’t, but is dead.
There is no other.
April Poem A Day Challenge 2009. Prompt: an animal
Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.) They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here. Copyright also applies to almost all photos posted here, most of which are my own, though a few are licensed under Creative Commons.
Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your posts as much as possible.
This month, June 2016, I'm a daily guest blogger at Project 365+1 and will be posting my poems in both places. It's a varied group of Aussie poets and artists; worth taking a look.