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My Pet Poems, Barkley


He was barely nine weeks old
When Jim set him down inside the front door
And he came in, not timidly
To this new home with all its long-established 
Smells, but he strut forward
As if he owned the place. And, so,
When it came to choosing his name, we
Decided to call this cocker-with-an-attitude
Barkley after Charles Barkley
Who ran onto courts as if he owned them,
Which he did.
So like this champion-bred spaniel
Who henceforth owned me.  This
Longest-earred, rare tri-colored prince,
Who would lick my fingers one by one,
From thumb to pinky and lay guard over me
— With his ashes now set waiting
To be blown in the wind with mine — always
Kept me still as I stroked him, as some others might
Turn worry-stones in a pocket, to keep me steady
In challenged hours, as our telepathy
Spoke without a second’s delay, as if
God had planned the timing of
Our together, 
So Barkley would strut on ahead to show me
I had nothing to fear.

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(C)sally Young eslinger 11/2020

Copyright © Sally Eslinger