Putting Licky Down
What is it, then, you say to them When medics shake their head; When heaving lungs are thick with phlegm, Your old bitch marked for dead? What salve is there to comfort eyes That trust beyond their pain — What right have I, when all hope dies, To whimper, or complain? Her days were mischief, sleep and play, Her tongue a children’s shrine, She stole some hearts along the way — And one of them was mine. What’s left to do but stroke her flanks And kiss her half-pricked ear? What bridge have I to make my thanks? Good night. God speed, my dear.
Mandalay, Mustique July 30, 2003
Licky was an orange ball of fur who lived a long life and produced many puppies. I inherited her when I bought my house on Mustique from David Bowie. Beloved by every child who ever met her, she sat at my feet in my study for more evenings than I can count. Even now I look down occasionally when writing, expecting her familiar white muzzle to be staring up at me.
Poem Published in the following books: Island of Dreams