Saddest Day Haiku. That’s what my friend, Karen, called the perfect little poem that she sent me in honor of my dog. Here’s her haiku below. It makes me happy and sad, and, like all of my favorite haiku, it makes a picture in my mind and on my heart.
Patient brown eyes
Shining now beyond the stars
Waiting for me still
About a year and half ago, when Blackberry could still walk fairly well, and when she could still hear me call her name, and when she could still see little creatures in the grass I wrote a haiku for her, too.
In tall grass
fledgling robin cries
—old dog perks up
I know there are all kinds of rules about haiku. I’m really not one for following rules. What was it they taught in grade school: 5-7-5 or 7-5-7? Season words are good, too. To ground you in time and place, I reckon. I mostly write what I call haiku to remember certain moments that I don’t ever want to forget ever. So, I try to keep them about a breath long. Isn’t that what “they” say? One breath. Mostly, I just write enough to let me keep a memory.
My daughter wrote a Saddest Day Haiku, too. Hers reminds me of the night before Blackberry’s last day.
Old dog dozes
Mom’s sock reaches out
See, my girl made me a pallet on the floor, so I could sleep beside my good friend that night. It’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.
It’s been two weeks since we let our dog go on home. This afternoon I heard her scratching at the back door. And now, it seems like maybe I wrote this one for Blackberry, even though I didn’t know it at the time:
i will wait by the river
for bufflehead in winter
and for you to come back home