Poem Hunter
! Three Persons And A Dog And Loyalty
MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! Three Persons And A Dog And Loyalty

Poem By Michael Shepherd

I, you, he, she, it…
three distinct views of the world
(though perhaps not to the Creator?)
which seem so different. Which
grammarians note, and writers write about.

A father who was all mine, I thought,
waiting for a boy one day after school
who was that younger me
with a small and lively bundle of love and energy and loyalty
straining to meet this stranger, as if I’d been a friend
already all its life - yet whom he’d not yet met -
straining at a brand-new brown leather leash…
how well you remember it…

he said he’d bought it for that son, who was me
but when, a childhood ago, he had to have it put away
it was he who cried for, so mother said
only the second time in his life.
I just felt betrayed. Again.

so when they gathered at his, that’s father’s, funeral
thinking of things to say
that would not hurt too much to say
they said, and he loved that dog so much he cried,
for the second time in his life, Dorothy says,
we never ever saw him cry…

and you remember that day and what they said
so clearly

and though I’ve moved from there
they may if they remember me
say much the same of other matters about that boy
who was me. For

memory doesn’t distinguish much in the past
between the living and the dead, in grammar,
why should it

and you wonder, well I do,
whether Sport in his unspoken dog-grammar
even with his eloquent tail
perhaps, sniffing at an interesting tree in the park
might not distinguish just as sharply with that wet, wise nose,
I-dog, you-dog, he, she, it-dog,

living with memory of some unspoken kind, yet
oblivious of death
or betrayal.

for Max if he likes it

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Comments (2)

Two things, good poem and... Remember kids, if you're bored, hit an orphan. Who are they gonna tell, their parents?
I love you, Michael.......I've just discovered you.......what a delight