Yvonne Rautenbach

(Aquarian - I am over 50 / UK)

The Ballad of Mary and her Dog Chappie


The Ballad of Mary and Chappie


She was wandering whitehaired clutching her lead
Glassy eyed and appearing in need..
'May I ask the way to Columbine Rd'
She laboured as if she carried a load..
And yet she seemed floating and far away too
the lead was red her coat was blue
And there was something that did not ring true
I thought to ask of her did you lose your dog?
But she seemed almost deaf; as if lost in a fog.

She was hovering gauntly, tall but inclined
drawn in the face and so much on her mind
She turned away and before I could warn her..
She strode along and turned the wrong corner.
I never discovered if she had lost her dog
Columbine Road was a mile long slog
And I followed her quizzically with my eyes
Thought she was just walking beneath blue skies


A half hour past and me with my collie
Mowing the grass and without a worry
i saw that the lady had gone round the block
Around in a circle - I looked at the clock.
She dragged the lead as if trailing her grief
and stared at the sky as if God was a thief
Something was wrong and she wandered on still
so I picked up my phone and reported her ill.

The PCSO he rang me at speed
'A lady's absconded and clutching a lead'
Her family distraught reported and cried
Her coat was blue and her dog had died
I also wondered if being kind
They forgot she had also lost her mind
The police cars were out and I went too
Searching for grief in a coat of blue

I was walking and searching for signs of a ghost
haunting the streets and every post
A dog in spirit wending its way
Sniffing the air and the blossoms of May
Remembering her face of ashen dismay
I wish I had known her dilemma today
As dawn crept in the phone had not rung
A bird was making it final song sung

I may never know if they found her in time
So out of my sympathy teardropped this rhyme
She may ever wander with her dear little Chappie
Together and leadless I hope they are happy
And as the sun dies in the clouds of the West
I see her firm clutching the lead to her chest
The dog in his glory like sundust in wind
glowing and sparkling as daylight is dimmed

She lay in the blossoms and Fenland vetch
Whispering 'Chappie oh Chappie go fetch'
Policeman on duty he hears a feint bark
Signals the search to the edge of the park
And Mary is sleeping and dreaming of Chappie
Licking her nose and making her happy.
The officer saw that the lady could breath
And shouts Ok folks...... we now have a lead!

Submitted: Monday, May 11, 2009
Edited: Monday, May 11, 2009

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Comments about this poem (The Ballad of Mary and her Dog Chappie by Yvonne Rautenbach )

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  • Kevin Wells (5/11/2009 2:43:00 PM)

    This has tones of levity but is actually very poignant. I have a dog so I immediately empathised with the lady in blue and her loss. Nice one, Yvonne. (Report) Reply

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