Prize Winning Poem - Dog Tale (United States)

our family has been abuzz
with dog tales ever since we were kids
there was a dog our grandparents owned
which swam the river back
after being forgotten in a village
another chose to die
in our neighbour's garden
hiding itself in a bush
perhaps because of its unwillingness
to let us feel the pain
a few had such sensitive ears
they could hear
our car a kilometre away
hissing and jumping at the gate
before we appeared
another accompanied
mom to the wetmarket each morn
waiting earnestly at the road
as she made her purchases
sometimes, it would turn back
on the leisure trip
fearing attacks by bigger dogs
that had suddenly appeared
giving mom the comic laughters
late granny was so touched
by the death of our last dog
she insisted that there would be
be no more dog in the house
as she could not take
the pain of a lost pet anymore
so when we heard of a Japanese dog
which spent many futile months
waiting for its master's return
at a railway station,
we knew it to be a true story

Voicesnet International Poetry Contest 2004
Merit Poem

by john tiong chunghoo

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