Diana van den Berg (4 November 1945 / Durban, South Africa)
Woe Was Us
This week, something terrible happened
that upset me
for the sake of my Benji-puppy
and the chewable parts of my house and its contents
that are not hidden away when I go out.
I couldn’t find Benji’s rope bally
when I was ready to go to work.
Woe was me!
I had wanted to keep his new rope bally
to introduce to him with ceremony
and appropriate games
and tentatively because I didn’t know
if he would love the new one
as much as he does the old.
I searched everywhere,
except in the fridge
and in the ceiling,
but the more I looked
the more it just wasn’t there.
It nearly broke my heart
to give him the new one
but for his happiness that day
and for the chewable parts of my house,
but in fear and trembling
that he would be confused
but he took to it
with the celebration
that he greeted the old one
a hundred times a day,
but his Mommy’s heart was heavy,
worrying where the old one was.
I searched frantically that day after work
and the next, but the ball wasn’t
in any of the places I looked,
not the first, nor the hundredth time.
However, two days after the horrific incident,
with prayer and the aid of calm logic,
remembering that sometimes
my little boy throws his bally
into the air,
happiness upon happiness,
I found my Benji’s rope bally
in a bucket, he couldn’t have reached
to retrieve it.
And peace and harmony
and happy barks
upon the household
Benji’s new rope bally
is again in the cupboard
for the pomp and ceremony
it’s official and eventual introduction deserves
and Mommy is no longer anxious
that it will take time for Benji-boy
to learn to love it
and Benji has his old bally
with a spare one for emergencies
and when the old bally
is no more.
(15 May 2011)
Comments about this poem (Woe Was Us by Diana van den Berg )
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