Ra Dug
by Phoebe Bell
Ra Dug

The dog is dead
The dog is spread
Throughout the woods.

No more the straining leash.
The trotting feet
and lolling tongue.
The impossible leap
to catch the tennis ball
in mid air,
that irksome bark
the games and larks,
twitching sleep
and stationary running paws
after dreamed rabbits.

All food devoured
in a wolfish second,
scrounging for leftovers,
scavenging on street corners
and hedges
where fikey schoolchildren
had thrust their leavings.
She knew all the new tricks.

Not one to roll on her tummy
but a discreet stroke under
the chin and she’d begin
to melt and thrust her head
under your hand
whilst you were in bed.
She’d give you a look
as if to say what are
you on about now?
Whenever you spoke
To her. Always listened
But never answered.

Apart from a whine here,
a bark there when she wanted out,
Growling at other dogs in the park,
panting noisily in your ear
on car journeys.

Completely silent now.
No more racing across the park
after foxes or
chasing squirrels up trees,
or pursuing strange cats along the cycle path.
like an exhilarating F1 fixture
Team Feline narrowly
beats Team Canine on the final chicane.
Hard pressed to get up off the floor.
Not interested in games or walks.
Meals or treats
Or visitors at the door.
The vet called time.
The kindest thing but
it doesn’t feel kind to me.

An empty house.
No wet nose and
Wagging tail in
ecstatic greeting.
Faithful friend,
I miss you so much.
Always in your favourite woods.
Forever in my heart.

Phoebe Bell
Copyright J Bell 20 August 2022
Comments would be appreciated by the author, Phoebe Bell
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