Her eyes,
like glassy black pearls,
are open.
I know now what I
should have done last night–
that and tuck under
her paws, like in sleep
because by morning
the stiffness is making it
quite cumbersome
for her to neatly fit
into the hole we dug,
and now earth
has fallen into her wide eyes.

But it is too late for that now,
so we cut flowers
and fill her grave
with the loose cool dirt,
each handful
an honor to all life,
by serving in death.

By Jason Weaver, 2013

Author’s note: Pearla, a friend’s dog, fell into a heavy sickness that fortunately did not last long and she passed on Sunday night. I was with her in her final moments and helped to bury her the next moring.   I feel it is so important for us to honor life by serving in sickness and death. Whether animal or person, all living beings share the same ultimate experience, cessation of life.  Rest peacefully, Pearla.

Linking up with DVerse Poetry Pub for Tuesday Night Open Link-– stop by, inspire!


20 thoughts on “Pearla

    • Thank you, Heaven, I always appreciate your kind feedback. I took a few weeks off from writing so had some trouble with the tone on this one. And rhythm. Actually the entire thing. But thanks again for coming by to comment 🙂 ~Jason

    • Thank you, nico…It has taken me 42 years, but I’m beginning to understand the importance of ritual– and discovering much about myself in the process. Appreciate the comment 🙂 ~peace, Jason

  1. so sad to lose a pet…when our cat passed i should have thought of a few things…would have made the burying a little easier…but we held a little back yard service as well…

    • Thanks, Brian. That is one of the ideas in this poem, that there is a process to death, a practical side that must be taken care of beyond the emotional side. There is a detachedness to the burial process, and in saying that, I suspect that our cultural rituals are meant to bring those two together, marry the practical to the emotional so that they are seamless. ~peace, Jason

  2. I have lost dogs of my own, so this poem rang very, very true to me. So sad to say good-bye but so important to honor life by kindness in death. THAT your poem showed strongly. Touching.

    • Ah, thanks Mary. I had hoped when writing that I could capture that moment that so many of us go through, that it would ring true as you said. As always, appreciate the feedback. ~peace, Jason

  3. I once witnessed the running over of my cat and I had to bury him and it was a terrible experience, this really reawakened those feelings with a heavy clarity but from such sadness we gather poetry at least.

    • True– and I would dare say witnessing the tragedy as you did added layers of grief. The process of poetry, then, functions not only to relay our emotions, but to help us shape them as well. ~peace, Jason

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