Going Away

Somehow the dog knew, had known for days.
Made mother cry every time it sat by the window
and watched him in the yard. Damn thing was in the
back of the truck before his suitcase.

I waited outside while he told his momma goodbye,
this was going to be hard enough without seeing that.
We did not talk much on the way to the bus station, I kept
glancing at him, wondering where the boy had gone.

We sat and waited ’till time to load, making sure to not
look each other in the eye; I knew I would break. The dog
with her head in his lap was almost more than I could take,
he could barely touch her, much less say her name.

Face-to-face, our first man-to-man handshake, both
scared to speak, neither acknowledging the other’s tears.
I broke down and hugged him, he did not resist, then
pushed him to the door, told him to call his momma.

Stayed there a while after the bus left,
petting the dog, reviewing memories through tears.
Tonight would be quiet, and bedtime hell,
when the dog tried to sleep in his room.

Written in response to Margo Roby’s photo prompt (but the poem is supposed to stand without the picture, so you will have to go to her site to see how I did)


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

15 responses to “Going Away

  1. Oh, yes, Mark! You captured it! I will go back and check but I only glimpsed that photo briefly, being drawn to the other and I could clearly see the image. I like the unseen story behind the picture you’ve revealed. Great writing!

  2. Oh yes, you nailed it. Had me in tears, too!

  3. It has been a while since you have written in this voice. Of all your poems, this [I would have to go back and look but I think it was the first couple of poems I read of yours that are similar] style is my favourite. The only thing I would suggest trying, and it won’t be easy keeping it to the length you need, is to replace ‘reviewing memories through tears’ with one specific memory. You already have tears in the previous stanza and ‘reviewing memories’ gives the reader nothing to hook onto. I like this very much.

    • Thank you. That line did feel a bit weak to me, a bit forced. I was debating having that stanza be just two lines but needed three so forced four. What was that word again? OH yea, ‘draft’. 🙂

      • You must be at work 🙂

        I know, I know, draft. What? I’m not supposed to make suggestions on drafts? Go drink your coffee.

      • Yes, at work, trying to figure out how not to be…one week till NOLA. Have to keep thinking that.

        Absolutely, you are to make suggestions. I was agreeing with the comment, making sure you knew that I knew that it was not done. 😉

        Coffee, yes, that would be good.

      • Oh, so tempting to keep up the I knew, you knew. It is good to check when it’s words on paper, isn’t it.

        NOLA roll on.

        Coffee. Mmmmm. My turn. Hey, have you posted something for the latest reverie? I am going out later to find a place to put mine up.

      • Have not posted for this one yet. Cannot nail down a non-trite theme/subject. Bugging me.

      • I know what you mean. I wrote one that is saved from triteness by its structure and the second one by a metaphor. I love ViV’s. I think this reverie is best done sideways. ViV wrote about why she prefers ephemera. Both my poems revolve more around the ephemeral that the specific prompt. So, ask yourself what is it you want to say about the ephemeral in your life, or the unexpected ephemera you have come across.

        When I next respond I shall have left my poems somewhere in Buckhead!

  4. Mark, a lovely poem. I like how you took us back in time, to before this scene. Of course, the mother is missing in the painting – and you include her and why she’s not there. And you weave the dog throughout – love those last two lines.


  5. I also very much like this voice. It’s warm and caring, yet conflicted so it draws sympathy and empathy from the reader. And it goes without saying that this is an excellent piece.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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