Animal Mother

You love and give, and want it all,
Expecting nothing in return.
Your kind’s love is full of the angels’

As ours lacks of kindness.
Though you’re flawed in more ways than you’ll ever know, your place is at
The right hand of the Son of Man for suffering at the hands of sons of bitches.

You took on a name that wasn’t yours and made it mine to call you by,
Misunderstanding your nature, we created a language of blasphemy in your name
Treating you as if you too were human, but in every worst way.

Man’s greatest creation, at times, treated the basest beast of all:
Not eaten, but beaten; trifled, not treasured.
If your tail could tell a tale of its own, would our ears be keen to its entailing?

You are there and not there, around when I need you most—
More than you’ve needed me— slumbering sweet on my rug,
Next to my feet, and under my heart.

In the silence of your innocent stare you always know what to say,
Knowing me best by the tip of your fount nose than your densely foliaged irises.
You live your life, basking in its shortness, not caring

About its insignificance, but clinging to its fullness.
The pain you caused the mother who birthed you into this world
Impregnates deep within my heart as you exit its grey-clouded skies.

Your endless affection, learned by wild rote than by noble rite,
Extinguishable flame— one that burned bright during my mind’s
Darkest affliction, whose flecks of fur warmed places spurned by human concern—

The heat that snaps off the fire must, as your life-kindle,
Love its warm heart to ashes.
Embered memories, simmer still in kindred minds meant to hunt

Together, forever our flesh craved the empty heat of the moon
Branding silhouettes on the silent grass blades:
Cutting, unmoved by the breeze of our speed, steeling before their trampling,

Bent, broken, ripped from the root as the heart whose grip
Your weathered paws never trained me how
To release from its leash.


Image Credit

Dog Paws [Photograph]. Dan Gold. Accessed on 03/09/2018