Skip to main content

LOVE ON FOUR LEGS by Tracie Nichols

Last summer, we lost a four-legged family member quite suddenly and unexpectedly...

In the morning it was breakfast and out the door as usual. Within 24 hours we were making the decision to stop prolonging his life. He was young. He was healthy. Something mysterious happened, and suddenly he was mortally injured.

I work from home. My husband and children are out of the house all day at work and school, so I was the one there all the time. Elrond’s rhythms and mine were inextricably interwoven.

In the aftermath of the chaos and crisis of his injury and death, I needed a way to make sense of it all. I needed to know why he’d graced my life. So, I wrote. I followed the tumble of these words and began to understand who he was, why he was here, and how much he’d taught me.

Love On Four Legs
(for Elrond: 2006 - June 25, 2014)
by Tracie Nichols

You were wise
from the beginning
you know.

happy laughs
of my children
before head-butting me

(You were just a child, too.)

(as you were meant to)
a permanent place
in our Place

Slipping into
our family ecosystem
as if you were born for it.

You couldn’t have fit more clearly.

And, yet…
you expanded us.
Every heart
in our small family
pulsed bigger, wider, deeper
for love of you.

And you…
you wore your

But I know,
I know
you were a master teacher
a furry Bodhisattva
love on four legs

sent to remind us
that we are the same
in our own ways.

You mended
my heart
and broke it open

One more lesson
as you left fur
and four legs

I know you’re there,
and here,
all at once.

And your presence
will always
make me smile.

But I miss
your sweet, soft, belly fur
and that impossibly tiny
“meow” when you’d waited
long enough for me to
realize you wanted
to go out.

And here I am
with the paradox
of a heart both broken
and mended

of a life both
full and
achingly empty

so, so willing
to do it all again
because of you.

Tracie Nichols has written poetry since she was 11 years old. While most of her early works are gone (this is probably a good thing) she continues to scribble poems at odd hours about everything from the state of her soul to the sounds of her kitchen. In truth, though, her poetic heart belongs to the deep green places of our wildly, fiercely, sacred, earth. When she isn’t making poetry with words she’s listening to the whispers of the green world, making alchemy with plants and stones and moonlight wildness. Tracie blogs, shares resources and generally nurtures at her website here. Connect with her also on Twitter or Facebook. 

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


  1. thank you Tracie, from the deepest tiniest hiding places in my my constantly shattering and re-mending heart! your poem and the eternal vast-ness mirrored in this kitten's eyes both shatter and mend me, again. thank you, again.

    1. Thank you Shree, for walking with Elrond and I for a while. And for sharing your tender heart...

  2. Wow - this is extraordinarily touching, beautiful, and loving. This poem brings us into your heart and makes us feel with you the exquisite pain and joy all at once. So beautifully written. And I love the pictures, too! Thank you for writing this and for sharing this - you have a beautiful gift. <3


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I AM STILL HERE by Janavi Held


This was composed by a very gifted and beautiful soul: a regular contributor to our poetry project, and dear friend of mine, Janavi Held, whose life is gradually being taken from us by an incurable illness. She has been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Internal Adhesions for six painful years now, and neither her insurance nor the government healthcare will help her. She reaches out to us, her sisters, as a last plea. This is a poem she wrote yesterday on her birthday, in which she offers us the gift of her friendship. May it touch your generous hearts and inspire you to reach out to her in her plight.

Dear Friends,

The last time I was able to leave the house was by ambulance on my way to the hospital. After many long hours in the emergency room I was admitted and taken upstairs. After everyone left I sat on the hospital bed, knees to chest, bracing my body against the pain and trembling.

The light of this cold day was fading. I turned my eyes to the la…

IMAGINE A WOMAN by Patricia Lynn Reilly

This poem invites you to look upon yourself with loving kindness…
Gazing at your own true reflection, you will discover that everything you have longed for “out there” is already within you! I invite you to love your creativity fiercely. Faithfully plant seeds, allowing under-the-ground dormant seasons, nurturing your creative garden with love and gratitude. In the fullness of time, the green growing things thrust forth from the ground. It's a faithful, trustworthy process. AND it takes time and patience.  Blessed is the fruit of your creative womb! I invite you to trust your vision of the world and express it. With wonder and delight, paint a picture, create a dance, write a book, and make up a song. To give expression to your creative impulses is as natural as your breathing. Create in your own language, imagery, and movement. Follow no script. Do not be limited by the customary way things have been expressed. Your creative intuition is original. Gather all of life into your inner c…

DEPRESSION by Veronica Carpenter

Here goes my vulnerability A heart on a sleeve The typical person who looks at me May not see the same me that I live with daily The mind in the air, swirling with possibility When the darkness rallies/gathers/swirls When I am left to solitude This paper-thin garb unzips Here comes depression          
No I don’t want to advertise So flash a smile Those who are close get to see Through the veil, it’s really not that thick Circumstances in life like to stab at the rib Stumble, fall behind the door Shut out the world Feelings well and weigh down Strength hidden deep in the core So deep that sometimes it’s forgotten Here comes the darkness My old friend Sweeping through my every move  Doubts, fears, un-named masked men Oozing like honey, sticking to everything
Patience is required to get on this ride There is a cycle but its pattern is unknown Slowly my gift will unwrap itself Stay on the path Coming back to that which never truly left me Just laid sleeping out of exhaustion from the fight Dormant in winter…