King Alfred

daffodil dance

We lost her in late spring a few weeks

after my daughter was born, so busy with

the newness of parenthood, too caught up in

jaundice, diapers and feeding schedules that

we barely noticed her fading in our backyard, fur

grown coarse and shaggy, eyes sunken as her

days ran out, just as our child’s were beginning.

On the last day, she didn’t want to go, lingering

by my chair as I held the baby, shaking her collar

for a final time as she trotted out the door. That night

I heard her tags jingle in the empty space and knew.

Come fall I planted bulbs on top the grave by her

vacant doghouse, big and showy daffodils next

to the leather collar and tags, her favorite toys, all

trumpeting a dog’s loyalty within the king’s burial mound.

NaPoWriMo #23

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. Won’t you join me in poetry?


4 thoughts on “King Alfred

  1. I do love the image of the daffodil as trumpet. Not just because of its shape but because of its clarion color. The daffodil which begins this poem is perfect, being part trumpet and part crown.

    “…I heard her tags jingle in the empty space and I knew.” Loss is a hard thing to capture, but you really did it there. Beautiful wordcraft.

    1. I hadn’t thought of the trumpet refering to color, so once again you have added another dimension to the word and the language. I love the word “clarion,” too. There are so many layers when you begin to single words out. And loss is hard, to feel and convey. Thank you, Maureen!

  2. Karuni

    You conveyed the feeling oh so well. I recognize it as the inevitable price we pay to love those with shorter lifespans. So bittersweet this poem.

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