Tag Archives: prose poetry

This is living

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A snippet of my day. Written for The Daily Post’s Prompt #Lovingly

Walking in the rain, grateful to have it dampen my face, feeling alive, batting away complaints from those who forget it sustains us. Mineral rich, we are earth and water, dry skin contains wet inside.

Rivers running down man’s roads, man’s transport making a splash, soaking my thighs, making me smile.

“This is living,” I think.

Unhappy umbrella people dripping by, deep worries submerged beneath the perceived tragedy of wet weather.

She comes down the lane where people seem to meet by chance, neat hair flying despite the damp, walking like a royal in a rush, when she sees me. She looks at me Lovingly, hurriedly hugs me, tells me she loves me, to which I reply in kind, and then she’s gone. I walk on, my smile widening, my great day hitched to a higher notch.

This is living. I feel alive again.

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I met my daughter, Laura, with her boyfriend, in almost exactly the same place as I last saw my son – a well-used thoroughfare near our town’s bus station. She said they needed to get to the bank. It was only  a few minutes to closing time. I’ve seen the facial expression, the stance, and the walk of the addict dashing off to score drugs. Neither Laura or Joe displayed any of those characteristics I know so well; they were just a normal couple in a hurry to get somewhere before it closed, walking, heads held high, with an innocence of mind.

©Jane Paterson Basil

My Prince

A bordercollie3

If you ask me how I feel about dogs, I’ll tell you a lie so familiar that it almost seems like the truth.

It was fifty years ago but still…

Today, in a green space at the edge of town, a spaniel was searching, her long coat and comedic ears flopping and dancing as she nosed in the grass.

Briefly, inquisitively, she turned my way but I didn’t retain her interest.

Unguarded in this verdant place, I allowed the missed beat, the quickening within me. My weakness unwittingly exposed itself to me.

With an indulgent grin, the dog’s companion explained that she’d lost her ball. I gave a friendly reply and walked away just as the dog was retrieving her circular prey. I didn’t glance back.

The image of man and dog stayed with me. Soon they would wend their way home; his heart eased by this love; hers bouncing as she lolloped, silently reciprocating.

I pictured that smile full of humour and pride, like a bridegroom parading his bride.

It was fifty years ago, but still I think of him, a different kind of dog than the one I saw today.

I remember the play-fights, the gentle bites that never drew blood, how he was always waiting when I came home from school, his lithe body that nipped around me panting with excitement, his tail wagging. His joyfulness. His youthful beauty.

And all over again I am staring out of my parent’s bedroom window, a tear-streaked face pressed against the pane as they bundle him into a van, taking him away forever.

It was fifty years ago and still I hear the sound of the rear doors slam.

Nobody told him it was all over. I had held him and hugged him, but in my denial I hadn’t said goodbye to Prinny,
my Prinny
my Prince.

If you ask me how I feel about dogs, I’ll tell you I don’t like them. I’ll turn away.

I won’t meet your eye.

© Jane Paterson Basil