Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Joey


I thought I would go daft when Joey died.
He was my first, and wise beyond his years.
For nigh a hundred nights I cried and cried,
Until my weary eyes burned up my tears.
Willie and Rosie tried to comfort me:
A woeful, weeping family were we.

I was a widow with no friends at all,
Ironing men's shirts to buy my kiddies grub;
And then one day a lawyer came to call,
Me with my arms deep in the washing-tub.
The gentleman who ran poor Joey down
Was willing to give us a thousand poun'.

What a godsend! It meant goodbye to care,
The fear of being dumped out on the street.
Rosie and Willie could have wool to wear,
And more than bread and margerine to eat . . .
To Joey's broken little legs we owe
Our rescue from a fate of want and woe.

How happily he hurried home to me,
Bringing a new-baked, crisp-brown loaf of bread.
The headlights of the car he did not see,
And when help came they thought that he was dead.
He stared with wonder from a face so wan . . .
A long, last look and he was gone,--was gone.

We've comfort now, and yet it hurts to know
We owe our joy to little, laughing Joe.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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