Canine Calamity

Those eyes – simultaneously
pleading and apologetic –
sweet eyes begging for attention
which I cannot give – understand
that I am unable to extend any
more responsibility – am over-
taxed – just want to retreat, be
burden-free – the affection you
crave from me unavailable.

Remember simpler times?
How you and I would curl up
arm in arm, on the rug in front
of the television – inseparable.
Disinterested, you would turn
your back to me, and I would
nestle into your solidity, feel
comforted, accepted, reassured.

Oh, how we’d play – outdoors,
you chasing me on my bicycle,
teasing, threatening to topple
and I’d laugh till I cried – I loved
you so. And at night, you would
sneak into my room and without
waking me, fall asleep – it was
our undoing – you were exiled.

I know you only wanted to be
near, but what you didn’t know,
couldn’t know, was that I was
never meant to be so attached
to another – that your loyalty
was affecting my well-being –
that unconditional love, such
as yours, was never in my
karma – please understand.

When I let you in my life again,
I was not the same person –
already worn down, unable to
open my heart – it was not you –
you are guileless, pure of intention –
I could never blame you – it is all
me – don’t give me those eyes –
you know I’d love you in a nano-
second if it were not for this
terrible affliction – this bodily
reaction to any contact between us.

Now you come to me in dreams,
eyes still tender, gentleness your
constant demeanour, still asking for
my acceptance and even in such
a state of unconsciousness, I both
remember your love and reject you –
what am I to do?  I know you will
persist, have witnessed your dogged
determination – but do not know how
to respond – so undeserving, am I,
of your resilient love.



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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.