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Rated: 18+ · Poetry · Experience · #2147729
Our new shelter pooch -
Sassafrass

Terrified, crouched in quivering ball of matted fur,
yet looking at me with eyes full of desperate hope.
I knew. I'd known when I'd seen her picture.
Sassy needed me, us. We needed her.
Caretaker brought her in to a small room to get acquainted.
Peed all over me.
I never noticed until later.
Anxious yet wanting with every cautious lick and wiggle.
They made me leave her to fill out paperwork.
My heart broke as I saw wheels turning--
I could hear her in my mind:
I'd hoped that this time ... I thought. No. Not again. No one wants me.
They were dragging her by the leash.
All four paws stretched in front of her:
brakes on full.
Until I was in view;
one six-foot leap--
lap full of wriggling, licking pooch.

Sick in the car - wondering
what was coming next in the line of awful:
cars meant change for the worse.
Just stared, vibrating in warm, soapy water.
Bichon/shih tzu mix - a teddy bear.
Caramel, butterscotch, cream, coffee:
these the colors of love.
Scared to death of tall, looming men.
Until they come down to her level.
Husband rolling on the floor:
I watched as they fell in love.

Tricks were easy: sit, shake, up pretty,
turn around and dance.
Vocal when Sassy wants to play.
So sassy!
No zipper is safe.Empty water bottles
a cause of delerious play.
Doorbell turns her into
a whirling dervish sounding
several orders of magnitude
larger, fiercer. Protecting mom.
No one will ever mess with Mom -
even if 'the man' is tall!
Mom is on her own though
if a vacuum cleaner is present. On, off -
no difference. Vanished critter.
Sorry, Mom. I'll protect you from anything --
except that green and grey monster.

Yips and whimpers plague her sleep
less and less as time rambles by. No
is a word I doubt will ever be understood.
Synonyms, the writer in me proclaimed.
Stop works. The 'Mom-glare' even has
its moments. As does that full-name
'You're in trouble' tone.

Sassafrass had big paws to fill;
we lost our Bichon as the leaves fell.
Bear is buried where hide and seek
was played amongst tall ferns.
Sassy stops, cocks her head to the side
as if listening
every single time we pass by.
A knowing.
Not a replacement - an addition.
New pawprints etched alongside old ones -
both trace heart-designs indelibly.

Keeper.
Queen of ...everything.
Sassafrass: named after a tree
with three differing leaves. Unique.
Sticks are intrinsic to my husband and I.
And in truth - we are all firmly stuck. In the best
possible of ways. Shattered pieces glued back together
by tongue licks and prancing play.
We are quite
sassified.





74 lines


Prompt for: Feb 2 (Fyn)
Subject or Theme: Year of the Dog --Write about your favorite dog or your current dog, or one you had as a kid or one you'd like to have, or a neighbor's dog. One you had contact with. NOT some famous dog. (that might be part of another prompt!
Word(s) to Include: NAME of the dog as the title -JUST THE NAME!. type of dog, monster, vibrate, magnitude (or any derivatives of these words)
Forbidden Word(s): dog, canine, puppy, kid, baby, child, she, he, (or any derivatives of these words)
Additional Parameters: NON-RHYMING, free verse. No 'forms.' At least 24 lines long.
Remember, do not use forbidden words ANYWHERE, including title or the brief description.




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