Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Hood

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A friend of mine recently had to make the very hard decision to have her cat put down. This was clearly a terrible decision for her to make and she was very distressed by it. She asked me if I would write a poem for her. This was the first time that I had done anything like this and I was not sure how things would go, but I agreed to do it if she gave me some notes.

I was not sure what format to take or how sensitive I would need to be. In the end I decided to write a poem which at first might seem hard hitting but would have a gentle closure offering a degree of hope and comfort.

I asked a few people to read the poem before I gave it to my friend in order to ensure that it was appropriate and they all gave it thumbs up. I then gave it to my friend and it was several days before she was able to give me her feedback, which was fortunately positive. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Hood

He has gone,
Yes – The Hood has gone.
I glance at the armchair as I enter the room
expecting to see two topaz eyes watching me
from under his pure white fur,
but the back of the chair is empty.

He has gone,
Yes – The Hood has gone.
I scan the top of the cupboards as I make the bed,
hoping to glimpse the tip of a tail waving at me
or perhaps hear a disgruntled purr,
but Robin, ‘The Hood’, he’s not there.

He has gone,
Yes – The Hood has gone.
I check the flowerpots as I tend the Garden,
will I see four huge paw prints in the soil?
His claws will need cutting soon.
Then I remember - he has gone.

He has gone,
Yes – The Hood has gone.
I sit and knit in front of the TV,
he does not make me stop.
I can no longer run my fingers
gently through his soft fur.

He has gone,
Yes – The Hood has gone.
I slept in this morning,
The alarm clock ran past snooze.
There was no soft paw upon my face
To wake me should I doze.

Yet - as I straighten cushions in the lounge
a patch of white fur appears before me.
Should I drop a stitch as I watch the TV
I feel his celebratory purr on my knee.
Yes - You will always be a friend to me
I just have to close my eyes to see.

John Carré Buchanan
01 February 2013

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Very well written and conveys the feelings and sentiments well.

    I recollect when I had to put my girlfriend's cat down. He and I had got to be such great buddies (he followed me everywhere). He was a white cat as well, a snaggle-toothed Persian. I wrote a poem about the experience (an insert to a much longer poem).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Andy, This was one of the harder poems I have written, being that it was for someone else and I did not know the cat or the owner too well. I think she found it hard to read because of the 'He has gone' theme, but I have always believed in facing death head on rather than avoiding it. In the long run this approach, I believe, has a more restorative effect on the reader, and leads to a quicker recovery.

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I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.

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