Canine Comfort
by Gay Williford

Ellie awoke to the usual pall–
her mother’s pain audible in agonizing groans.
The hospice nurse would up her morphine soon,
making another day bearable,
but Ellie only became more dolorous
just thinking of the short time left
when her mom’s life would end.
She had so been hoping for a sign for weeks now,
that would convey comfort and somehow
alleviate her mom’s awful anguish and misery.

Uncle Stan, with whom she’d move in,
was a kindly hardware store owner
who doted on his niece and went all out
to see to her family’s needs and well-being.
Returning from school one day,
Ellie found a tiny puppy awaiting her–
a wriggling, soft bundle of amber fur
anxious for attention and cuddling.
She immediately bonded with it,
naming it “Puddles” and shared it
with her mom, who was gratefully distracted
by brief moments of laughter and relief.

After her mother’s passage and Ellie‘s grief waned,
she reflected back and decided
Puddles was, perhaps, the sign she had awaited–
as he had banished her mom’s pain temporarily
and now was a giver of constant affection
and a companion into what would otherwise
be a lonely, motherless journey.


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