Friday, August 4, 2023

Find Words for a Feeling

Sage 12 Years Ago
Photo by Amy LV

Sage Last Month
(See the white fur heart on her head?)
Photo by Michael V.

Students - On Tuesday, we said goodbye to Sage, our soft, joyful, and funny half Border Collie/half Great Pyrenees friend of twelve years. We met her in the sheep barn of the Wyoming County Fair long ago, and she brightened our days with her love and her antics ever since.

The feeling in this poem is not one I alone feel. Often when we lose a loved one - human or animal - we find ourselves wishing for that person or animal, for company, for comfort, for solace. but we must find this company, comfort, and solace in other ways and places. Carrying grief can be like carrying a backpack full of heavy, cold stones, and sometimes writing and art can help.

Writing-wise, just two notes on this poem:

Line 4 could easily have been combined with line 3. I chose to separate them in order to create space, to give a reader time to process why the girl could not bury her face in her dog's soft ears today. The realization of not being able to so deserves a line of its own.

And the title. I could only have written this title after writing the whole poem. Know that you need not choose a title first. You may wish to, but be open to title revisions after your poem is complete. The title may sneak up on you.

Here is a 2014 poem I wrote about Sage all about how she had so much fur that when you brushed her, it felt like you could make a new dog!

Fly high, Softie Ears Sage. May you join all of the loved humans and pets that have gone before you. And may we meet again.

Mary Lee is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup today at A(nother Year of Reading) with a gorgeous poem about natural neighbors and an in-process embroidery piece. Each Friday, all are invited to share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship in this open and welcoming poetry community.



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  1. Been there...two years past our Dinah passing and I still miss her soft ears intensely. I can't pass an Aussie without sighing deeply. Hugs to you, friend. A beautiful poem I can tuck into my grief pack. Poems help.

  2. **tears**
    So much emotion in so few words, in such a specific detail.
    I'm missing my Bessie-Boo, gone many years now, from whom we, too, could make a whole new dog when I brushed her.
    Sending hugs.

  3. What a beautiful poem, Amy. Spare yet packed with emotion. I'm sorry your lost your soft-eared loved one.

  4. Sage-days, sage ways, Amy. Thank you for offering students a way through grief via love.

  5. Oh, Amy. Your poem is so personal, yet so universal. Thank you for sharing it. Hugs...

  6. All that needs to be written, Amy. I’m sorry for your sad goodbye.

  7. I'm so sorry for you and your family, Amy. Dogs are amazing creatures and enrich our lives tremendously. Always in our hearts.

  8. What a beautiful poem. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing about Sage's life and passing. I've heard recently that "grief needs witnesses." I also appreciate your notes on why you made the decisions you did from a writing (and feeling) perspective.

  9. Oh, I'm so very sorry. You've captured that aching feeling all too well. Anyone who's lost a furry friend knows that sadness. :(