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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.

Winning
hearts
happy laughs
spirits
of my children
before head-butting me

(You were just a child, too.)

Claiming
(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
“cat-ness”
well.

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
again

One more lesson
as you left fur
and four legs
behind.

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

willing
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!~

Comments

  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.

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

      Delete
  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

    ReplyDelete

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