Old Collie

While milking together 
my father shouts across the parlour 
an idea for my next poem 

How about a working collie– 
one that's on its last legs. 
I tell him it has been done before. 

Unwilling to chase this sentimental stick, 
I leave it well alone, 
turn away, but feel it lying there 

becoming hair and bone  
crouching low, resting its arthritic frame 
flecked muzzle flat on its front paws. 

Lifting itself slowly to its feet 
it sniffs out the few short steps to my father 
where we both knew it was bound to go..

from Black Cart (Freight Books, 2017) ? Jim Carruth 2017, used by permission of the author

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