The Mercy Dog Poem by Amelie Ison

The Mercy Dog

Rating: 2.0

I watched a dog sweep across the land where no man stands:
So delicate in his every step. He manoeuvred across it
With very little fault, and he didn't worry for the mud
That clung his feet like a monster primed to attack.
He pressed his nose into the dirt to sniff the scent of
Death, and followed it over lumps and bumps to where
A cold man lay. Half enveloped already—the mud, like quicksand,
Swallowing him whole— but the dog did not miss him
Whilst he lay there like a ghost. His breathing was so little,
Even the dog could tell his fate. This poor young man was dying:
Anything done now was too little too late. So the dog,
Empathetic in its very being, lay down at his side—
To comfort him as he slipped away and said his final prayers
And goodbyes. Oh this little dog was the only one to hear
This good man's words: as he wished his family well,
And blessed his comrades still stuck in this living hell.
Now, the dog let the man stroke him, and watched
(With fixed intent) the steady rise and fall of his chest.
And as the blood exiting his pale body began to slow,
The dog knew it was over. The job was done.
He had offered the one thing he could in his primitive being:
Mercy. To a scared and lonely man, in the final moments
Of his years.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Topic(s) of this poem: death,empathy,soldier,dying,dog,world war i
A word-heavy poem about a mercy dog in WW1. Mercy dogs were trained to go out into No Man's Land to search for wounded soldiers. They were able to offer some medical treatments such as bandages or perhaps medicines that they carried in pouches. Or, if not, they would offer comfort to those who could not be saved. That is what this poem is about
Dennis Ryan 05 June 2024

The creation of any work of art, poetry, is a mystery, the process, the composition. You will find your way.

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Dennis Ryan 05 June 2024

Then rewrite it, hone it, refine it, in fewer words unless you have more to say on the subject, and see what happens. Some poems take days, weeks to reach final form, others a New York Minute—fast, fast.

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Dennis Ryan 05 June 2024

You need reread it, and take some time for reflection as I told you before, then come back to it for a rewrite later after your unconscious mind has the time to work on it.

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Dennis Ryan 05 June 2024

I have come back to help you with this poem as you requested. It is a first draft, that's the problem here, you thinking it through. Too talky.

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