new zealand electronic poetry centre

J E N N Y    C L A Y


I did not make you poems
or build art pieces
in your name
when you were alive
to pull me to and fro
as you still do
You splashed me
with salt water
threw sand at me
in public places
Chewed the rug
in the back of the car
and barked
all the way home
You thought
you were invincible
thought all cars and dogs
would give way to you
If you thought at all
and maybe that’s
what I was for
Like wiping sandy paws
Brushing your coat
Opening doors
You waited for me
to come home
And I needed you
to be there
For almost
fifteen years
I walked you
You walked me
I carried you outside
in those final weeks
carried the weight
of a golden retriever
And I held you
as he put the needle in.
Yet an empty space
about your size
was the heaviest thing
I had to carry.

published in ‘Take a Leap’ Nikau Press, 2005

Last updated 26 April, 2006