7 April – In memoriam

By Bewerly’s stretch of river,
on a quiet pebbled bend,
a simple slate heart hangs
to mark a dear friend’s end.
I’m used to reading bench plaques
where parents and spouses used to rest,
but I’ve never seen a dog’s name
remembered where they loved best.
Some would think it sentimental
but I find it fitting and kind
to mark the extraordinary absence
such a companion has left behind.
I think of my own dog beside me
and the scores I see each day
chasing their owners outside,
reminding us how to play.
What endless lessons they teach us
in learning to love the outdoors
as they revel in every scent
and bound along on all fours.
How rich they make our hours
with their effervescent zest,
it’s a curious, cold-hearted mistake
to trivialise the importance of pets.