Jackboy’s Lament


Jackboy’s Lament

We define ourselves in movement,
in the uncertain light and forms

shuddering by: fences, the nameless
wave, odors, dark water.

Look at the hills, their lines stretched taut like
smiles, or voices torn from the earth.

Or the creek below us – how its mouth never closes
yet nothing emerges but a shadow

on the wind. Two questions arise,
leaving only the abandoned to consider.

In our solitude, only my self is missing.


“Jackboy’s Lament” made its first appearance here in October 2015. I started the poem about a dozen years ago, after a drive through the Texas hill country with Jackboy the cattledog, who was quite the philosopher and humorist. This is what emerged after several conversations and much reflection over his circumstances (abused, abandoned, rescued). Jack didn’t talk much, but he thought. Oh, how he thought.

It has been nearly three years. We still miss him.


37 thoughts on “Jackboy’s Lament

  1. Oh, gorgeous, philosophical boy! 😍 As Jackboy once devoted his very self to filling the cattle dog-sized need he perceived in you, the memory of and longing for that filling will now forever remain. I see, though, that this phenomenon has in a way become something to celebrate (as evidenced by this gorgeous testament!), and I definitely share your reverence on that count. ❤

    I recognize that knowing look in his eyes. It is the same way my Sydney cattle dog regards me, unceasingly, with her earnest, plying vigilance and proximity (which sadly involves no cuddles, but I’ve learned to live with that 😉), trying to keep me aware and accountable in my every movement and breath. Of course, I realize I will never do her efforts justice…

    Sydney turns 12 this month. How old was Jackboy when he went to dogey herding & squirrel chasing heaven?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jackboy, too, was not much for cuddling, preferring an aloof vigilance, except during goofy playtime. We’re not certain how old he was when he adopted us (probably a year, maybe a little more, but young), and we were fortunate to have him around for a dozen years.

      Liked by 1 person

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