Critter Poetry


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You Are My Child

Grow Old With Dogs

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

One Year Ago Today


You Are My Child

Whether or not I bear children,
Whether or not this world says of me, “she is mother,”
I know that others do not see what I see.
I see what is.
You are my child.

Your bark speaks your heart to me,
Your purr strums my primordial soul,
Your fur, your feathers, your eyes, your touch –
These are as elemental as earth, fire, wind, water.

Your life is short, while mine is long -

(A lesson learned when my brother died
And my mother said,
“This is not natural. No mother should see a child die.”)

Even so, even knowing this truth,
Knowing that you will die before I do,
And knowing that this unnatural order is, after all, inevitable,
I welcome you as my child, my own.
Even if I could die before you,
I do not wish it so.
You would grieve as much as I…maybe more.
I would keep you safe from this pain, this grief, this wound.

And so I take you lovingly, willingly, knowingly, as my child.

And I do not wish it undone, even with grief already borne, and grief yet to come.

For I have always loved you,
And I will love you beyond death.

You are my child.

©Barbara Allen


Grow Old With Dogs

When I am old...
I will wear soft gray sweatshirts...
and a bandana over my silver hair.....
and I will spend my social security checks on
wine and my dogs.
I will sit in my house on my well-worn chair and
listen to my dogs' breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle of a warm summer
night and take my dogs for a run,
if my old bones will allow...
When people come to call,
I will smile and nod as I show them my dogs...
and talk of them and about them...
...the ones so beloved of the past and the ones so beloved of today....

I will still work hard cleaning after them, mopping
and feeding them and whispering their names
in a soft loving way.
I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat, like a
jewel and I will be an embarrassment to all...
especially my family...
who have not yet found the peace
in being free to have dogs as your best friends....
These friends who always wait, at any hour, for your footfall...
and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep,
to greet you as if you are a God.
With warm eyes full of adoring love and hope
that you will always stay, I'll hug their big strong necks...
I'll kiss their dear sweet heads...
and whisper in their very special company....
I look in the Mirror...
and see I am getting old....
this is the kind of person I am...
and have always been. Loving dogs is easy, they are part of me.
Please accept me for who I am.
My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives...
they love my presence in their lives...... When I am old this will be important to me...
you will understand when you are old....
if you have dogs to love too.

~Author Unknown


Do Not Stand at My Grave And Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
(Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!)

~Mary Frye


One Year Ago Today


One year ago today,

I got up early to feed you breakfast.

You weren't hungry, so I mixed some boiled liver in with your food and fed you by hand.

You smiled.

I like to think that you felt special.


One year ago today,

I went to work and mentally checked out.

It was a hectic day with lots to do and I was useless and don't remember most of it.

People understood.

They knew it was a very sad day.


One year ago today,

I left work early and drove home to get you.

I put your leash on you and helped you up so your Daddy could walk you up the stairs.

Again you smiled.

It pleases me to think you felt proud.


One year ago today,

You took your last ride in the car.

You sat up so tall, but the look on your face showed how much pain you were in.

I'm sorry.

I know I put it off too long.


One year ago today,

You went to the vet's for the last time.

You lay quietly on the floor between your Daddy and me as we cried and said goodbye.

You sighed.

Sometimes I think you knew why you were there.



I got up early to feed Tink & Star breakfast.

They weren't hungry, so I patted their heads and picked up the bowls and let them be.

They smiled.

I think they sensed my mood.



I went to work and ran on autopilot.

It was a typically crazy day with lots to do and I did all of it in a surreal fog.

Nobody noticed.

Today's significance was between you and me.



I left work on time and drove home to see my babies.

I put on their leashes and let them celebrate all the way out to the car for our ride.

They smiled.

They love walks as much as you.



I took Tink and Star to your favorite park.

We walked beneath the trees on the same paths you took the last time you were ever there.

I cried.

I could still see your happy face.



I stopped at your tree.

I placed a white rose from my yard over the spot where we buried your lock of fur.

I cried some more.

I miss my boy so much.



I look back on everything that happened.

Mommy's boy, if we thought for a minute there were any other way, we'd have done it.

I'm so sorry, Boo.

I will never forget your last smile,


One year ago today.