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Posted by: | Posted on: June 30, 2016

The tale of a wonderful dog, Jumper


image
JUMPER

BY

STEVE JACKSON

Jumper

My Dad and I picked him
out of a litter at the animal shelter.
He was probably a sheepdog.

When he was a pup
he could jump off the floor
into my lap.
We named him Jumper.

And he could run, too.
He was fast.
I loved to watch him run-
he’d spot the school bus
and run to meet me,
his black and white fur rippling.

He was loving and affectionate,
not vain at all.
There was no guile in him
and he showed me an example
of social success;
be happy to see people.

But his speed I loved most,
and his love of speed
when his legs moved so fast
they blurred underneath him.

And his sympathy-
when I suffered at school
I’d come home and he’d be there
loving me.

And he was a protector-
I’d been swimming in a pond
and when I climbed out of the water
a rattlesnake coiled up
there on the bank.

Turning to retreat fast
back into the water
I saw a blur leaping
like some kind of spirit
landing on the sand
between me and the snake.

It was Jumper
attacking and killing
and getting bit.

It’s no wonder some philosopher said,
“The domestication of the dog
is the greatest feat
of the human race.”

I held my dog in my arms
while Mom drove us to the vet,
and in a few days he was back running-
running fast
running fast, fast across the field,
meeting me when I got home
from being taught civilization in school.
I felt him- his nose and face in my hand,
his tongue licking me.

 

 

image Steve Jackson is an internationally published poet.
His poems have appeared in The Salmon(Ireland),
the California State Quarterly and a multitude of
literary magazines. 

“An Affair in the Valley” Amazon.com

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