how much more (on a night like this)

Poem #19 from: Memoir of a Dog

Back to Memoir of a Dog – Introduction

eventually even the worst of things
if persistent
becomes normality

normality of a kind

the two of us are alone now
utterly alone
our children lost to us

one claimed by an illness
that has left him a shell
the other by a reaction
that has closed him off
inside the brooding of his anger

both unreachable

and we

the blessed relief of routine
is salvation

and so the shopping is done
the house is cleaned
work is attended semi-regularly
silence is the new medium


the phone call is a panic

it’s the dog


something has happened to the dog
something about an attack a big dog the vet

oh my god


he comes home a day or so later
emergency surgery
the malamout just picked him up
gave a shake
discarded him
leash and all

it wasn’t even a fight

touch and go if he’ll live

there are tubes draining him

we are stunned
how much more
god god how much more
how much

the silent brooder
the one who taught sparky
to use the kennel
has emerged
still not saying much but he is there
his place is beside the dog
all night
sleeping on the floor

at least the two of us can try to rest
knowing we’ll be called if needed



it’s in the middle of a night
like this one
that I could seriously contemplate
what I’ve never really thought before

how much more

© Frank Prem 2009

Memoir of a Dog Poem 20: subtle theft and mild healing

7 thoughts on “how much more (on a night like this)

  1. I do not know if this is autobiographical or not…but I guess that it does not matter. Part of the poem is definitely a reality to us. When my husband and I lost our son in a car accident…the worst happening did become something we had to treat as a normalcy. Otherwise…we might have to internalize a deeply sad feeling that we might not able to face. I remember that our daughter said…”Go ahead and cry, Mom.” “No…I am afraid that I might not be able to stop”, I said. Therefore, smaller, possibly negative matters become enormous. I do relate to the poem…perhaps in a different way than you intended. A thoughtful poem, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

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