goodbye, my brown-eyed girl

June 24, 2020

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl

10 Comments

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember when
we met you
in a squirming basket of puppies
at the little league field
“found by the side of the road,”
(said the woman)

you licked my hand
and leapt into my heart

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember when
you met our cats
all bigger than your little self
and decided you liked them
they liked you, too
(friendly little pup)

you played with them
but never chased

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember when
my son named you
during his 60s rock phase
from borrowing my iPod
incessantly
(at 9 years old)

he looked at you
and knew you were Layla

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember when
you met a mentor
Shiner the beloved dog
just three doors down
belonging to Theresa
(who left us too soon)

Shiner looked at you
and knew you as sister

(Shiner with stuffed animal)

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember when
you liked road trips
bouncing off the seat
when I went too fast
over railroad tracks
(hold on, Layla!)

you leapt into the car
and knew adventure

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember when
i remarried and
you met an alpha
Missy the Boston Terrier
terrorized you
(then you became alpha)

you quit tug-of-war
uncomfortable with aggression

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember when
i thought you’d like
being thrown in the pool
and how you never
came near it again
(don’t dogs like swimming?)

you hated that moment
but still trusted me

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember how
you barked at the wind
and the moon
the Amazon truck
and stray white clouds
(in your territory)

you knew you stood
between us and the world

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember how
you chased squirrels
loved walks
played “you killed me”
with our dachshund
(ferocious beast)

you were a gentle friend
to little Sally

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i remember how
blind and deaf
you still wagged
rolled in the grass
traversed your yard
(loved your life)

you knew this acre
and avoided the pool

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i wonder if
i loved you enough
petted you enough
i wonder if you knew
you were special
(you were)

resting your head on my knee
blind and deaf, still lovi
ng

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i wonder if
i waited too long
deciding your fate
had me on my knees
i tried to give you consolation
(that last moment)

you looked at me
and still trusted me

goodbye, my brown-eyed girl
i’ll remember you
thirteen years of you
leaning into my hand
your trusting stare
your joyful gait
(our shared adventure)

you licked my hand
and leapt into my heart

goodbye, Layla
i’ll see you
over the rainbow
where you’re once again romping
staying away from the pool and Missy
playing with the cats
(i love you)

© 2020, Glover Gardens



10 thoughts on “goodbye, my brown-eyed girl”

    • Thank you so much, Sharon. You’re right, her memory IS a blessing. One of my nieces, just a tad older than my son, reminded me of patient Layla being pushed down the slide on my son’s playset. She didn’t love it, but she didn’t object, either.

  • Oh God, I am crying and sniffling in my coffee. I am sorry you lost your Layla. We recently made the decision to let our 14 yr old Sweetie go. So, the part of knowing WHEN or HOW or IF hit me hard.

    This a beautiful, personal but universal eulogy for these heart bandits that come and go in our lives. I am a better person by having every doglet in my life.

    Again, Happy Trails Layla. Job well done.

    PS My daughter’s pup Sally was a Chiweenie.
    She passed in 2014 at 14. She was the most incredible 11 lb package of ferocity and hilariousness, loyalty and love I’ve ever known. Long live Sally

    • Maggie, thank you so much for reaching out about this. Knowing that you struggled with the same questions of WHEN and IF and HOW are really meaningful. I’d love to know more about your daughter’s Sally and your Sweetie.

      I’ve discovered at this point in life that I can process things that happen much better if I write about them, and it really touches me that my heart-song about Layla, while so specific to her, made enough sense that you were able to connect with the poem and to reconnect with your own feelings about Sweetie. Sometimes, crying in the coffee is just the release we need, don’t you think?

      I love the phrase “heart bandits”. You have a way with words. I look forward to hearing more of yours.

      • I completely relate to using our writing to process these complex issues nowadays…..

        Before Christmas, we were doing a deep declutter prior to the family Xmas party. And I filled up a large tote (human body size) with a dozen 3 ring binders of my writing. Hahaha…..as if anyone will ever sit down and read my declining cursive in G2 blue…..what’s in there???? Anything from 3 volumes on BP Disaster, 2 on a company that wanted to burn tons of toxic waste in Hancock County. Then love letters to my daughter, lessons I wish to impart, eulogies on every one I lo st and loved. And my semi autobiographical tome on surviving Katrina, 4 deaths in fam, PTSD and other delightful, light-hearted topics like those. Hee.

        As an old hippie that marched in every protest of ’68-72, I am an odd duck here. Since my viewpoint isn’t always appreciated here, I write when the news feeds rile me(and that’s 25X daily)….
        My husband, a lifelong but unenthusiastic Dem, is now a fan of that guy at 1600 Penn. Sooooo, I buy reams of college ruled paper and scratch away…..better than the alternative…
        I’d better jump back into my great American novel and work out my issues!

        Did y’all get a boat?

  • Maggie, you have so much to share, I think you need a blog! I would definitely read what you are calling your declining cursive in G2 blue. Your perspective is rich, broad and timely, given where we are now. I look forward to when we can meet in person and want my son to meet you, too. I think you would like this FB post of his: https://www.facebook.com/thomaswenglinski/posts/2953742711340911 .

    The short answer to the boat question is yes…and I wll put more info on the other post where you gave me such good advice. 🙂

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