Life With Horace

poetry & essays

love held close


we carry with us
an unwilling certainty
that animals we love
will leave before we do
taking with them
pieces of our hearts
never dimming coals
that light the way
and speed their journey
to another plane

death is not the end of love
merely a delimiter
once the torch is lit
the bond created
the fact of its existence
(even unremembered
in the living world)
cannot be undone
nor the joy obliterated,
its ripples reach us all

so while these
cherished creatures
live among us
love is best held close
celebrated clear eyed
and without regret
even as we know
its glow will one day
be reflected in
the sky at sunset
sun on dancing waves
or from the flash
of deep night stars

The loss of an animal can bring us to our knees, because they often need us to make the choice to let them go. What remains to comfort us is the memory, the spirit of love. In memory of Lenore, whose gentle and loving spirit led me to Horrie.

[the photo was taken at Black Dog Farm, Thanksgiving 1994. As you might imagine, to get all those dear Lab faces so perfectly lined up, food was involved, off camera. Sammy, my heart dog and protector, now long gone, sat 3rd from the left.]


Author: Life With Horace

poetry & essays

5 thoughts on “love held close

  1. I recognize the photo from your visit to NC, many years ago. My Barney is there…


  2. Judy loves this poem. Thank you.


  3. So glad she does, send her my love.


  4. Pingback: Shared Post: Love Held Close | Trail Mix

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