What We Take & What is Taken (04/13/21)

Inspired by a #VerseLove entry by Andy Schoenborn who writes for one of my favorite teacher-writing blogs Ethical ELA. For more information on this particular approach to writing check out Andy’s entry here.

like always, the red handled scissors are there
dutifully attached to the barn’s worn beam
I pull the lever on the double-ended snap
releasing them from the baling twine
stunned, confused, overwhelmed, destroyed

walking back through the dew-damp grass
I notice Bonnie has already braided a section of your mane
the whites of your eyes absent,
your gaze dull from the sedative
Squeezing down on the handle releases
a token of you into my hands
your black hair billowing at the ends near the rubber bands
I take this part of you to the fence; resting it on the upper rail
my own gaze dull from denial

forehead to forehead I whisper apologies
and promises
decades of memories replace future plans
your eyes resigned
mine indignant
in soft tones, the vet reminds us of what happens,
sometimes violent spasms, heavy, gut-moving breaths

but none of that happens for you
you spare us those moments

I sit by your head, heavy against the ground
death’s intransigent selfishness occupying our space
considering all that has been taken

DD Cephearano 1997-2018

7 thoughts on “What We Take & What is Taken (04/13/21)

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. It is never easy saying good-bye to a pet who is more family than pet. I am sure she felt great comfort in knowing that you were there and she was not alone at this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a poignant tribute to a beloved one. My heart aches for you. I can walk through all of this with you and FEEL it—a goodbye that honors.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. This was heartwrenching to read, let alone live it like you did. It is a beautiful piece, however. I am glad you found the words to write it and the courage to share it with us. Thank you.


  4. forehead to forehead I whisper apologies
    and promises
    This line spoke to me. I know this is where I will be soon with my almost 12 year old lab. I whisper to her every morning and night and know soon it will be the last time.

    Your poem was touching and such a beautiful piece of writing. You captured the last moments with a cherished family member so well. I felt your grief, even though it was a few years ago, that you still carry. What a beautiful horse ❤️

    Side note–we’ve both made it two weeks on our Tuesday slices!🎉


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