A Survivor's Tail

Darwin's theory

Out of the woods, you stumbled upon me

Hungry, alone, trepidatious your plea

Caution the rule, understood, I agree

Summer cements the contract, no fee

__________________________________

 

Regular meals, you garner from me

Still lean and alone, not yet trustworthy

I continue our pact, sustenance, free

Autumns reprieve, fresh start, healthy

__________________________________

 

Survival conditional, shelter from me

Box, insulation, on the porch, under eave

Fresh hay for your bedding, no luxury

Winter, brutal, your cover, rudimentary

__________________________________

 

Warmer days, you arrive, babies, three

Nature prevails, nowhere to flee

Life changing, budding unpredictably

Spring brings promise, responsibility

__________________________________

Your family safe, survival carefree

Not aware of the changes ahead for me

Spent days with your charges so happily

Summer, another, my life affects thee

__________________________________

No help finding homes for you or for me,

I spin my wheels, frantic, relentlessly

No shelters, no takers, nothing I see

No reprieve, no saviour, hard reality

__________________________________

Back out in the woods, I decree

a home constructed for you and your three

Assuaging my conscience, caring for thee

Torn down by my ex, despite my plea

__________________________________

Lives deconstructed, you and your three

Mine now haunted, you're waiting patiently

Now Auschwitz survivors, never quite free

The love you acquired, abandoned by me

__________________________________

 

Although I live on, I am not free

Despite my best efforts, nightmares plague me

No fault of your own, sweet victims of humanity

I cannot forgive nor forget my own fallibility

 
 
 

Animals need our humanity

22 comments

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

...that's an extremely difficult video to watch especially coupled with Sarah's voice .....but here I am drying my eyes - to tell you that you are a marvel - I remember you saying that the idea of poetry was fairly new/novel to you - well it reads like you've been doing it for years - and if I could write poetry this good (remember I am an anti-poet - lol lol - a poet of deconstruction - lol lol) I would be out there on some book tour signing autographs....... by the way Miss Amy could I have your autograph????


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dearest Colin, Yes, my first attempt at poetry was the first one I wrote here. I have been reading yours, and I thought, "self, you must try to impress him and his incredible artistic brain". You inspired me to try something new and I'm very happy you approve! In lieu of an autograph, I'll send you a painting.


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 6 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Well Amy I'm impressed. That probably doesn't mean a lot coming from a guy who wrties songs about tears and anger of days gone and wrapped in brown paper, but I sure enjoyed this. (Gave me a peek at your soul)

jim


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you very much, Jim. I appreciate your time and comments. And don't underestimate yourself. Your comment illustrates your intellect. You know where it's at.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

Very stirring, it was a compelling piece. It brought tears to my eyes, especially coupled with the video. Very nice.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

The situation that this piece describes continues to plague me. I have regularly donated to animal rescue organizations for years. There was "no room at the inn" for these sweet creatures, not even the Open Door Sanctuary. All the people I asked...to simply put out food I would provide, a ride in a vehicle that would accommodate the cages I needed to transport them to a shelter or new home, I was ignored. That group of "do nothings" were big on poisoning animal interlopers. Had I done my research and what I know now, I would have scraped together the cost for spaying, although I would still have had a transport problem. In the end, every avenue waylaid, I had no options left. I continued to travel the 90-mile roundtrip from my apartment to my former home to feed the family until they were big enough to have a chance for survival. I wish I had known "Lucky Cats" then.

Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate your input, BobbiRant.


Laura 6 years ago

My dearest Amy,

It so breaks my heart that you carry such guilt over a situation you had no control over. You have always gone above and beyond to care for ALL creatures(including me), whether wild or domestic i.e. Gilly,stray dog at side of road, stray dog that gave yours worms, turtle, guinea pigs,birds etc. etc. and yet I understand 'cause I am the same. You are a hero to all creatures great and small!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dearest Laura, thank you for your understanding. Yes, we are alike in that it is so difficult to turn away from innocent victims of their circumstances. Sometimes, though, the options run out and then it is a matter of living with one's conscience. At the risk of melodrama, I just can't forget...I know you don't either...I love you always.


Robertbloggert profile image

Robertbloggert 6 years ago from Oklahoma

Bravo Amy, I'm with BobbiRant on this one as with your true heartfelt sentiments here. And those videos just tear my heart up everytime, just makes you want to go rescue them all :(, unfortuantly I'm kinda at my budget limits with my three dogs and one cat (Skillet, Paco, Belle, and Missy).


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you Robertbloggert for your comments and sentiments. You are correct in that the care of animals is expensive. The last visit for Mac cost me $165 and that was after I explained my unemployment to the vet. He gave me a break!!! I've thought about volunteering at a local rescue spot, but I can't even watch the commercials. Although, I need to buck up and do the right thing for the critters. Thanks again for taking the time to check this out.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Amy, I just read this for the first time...and it is so much later; January 25th of 2011...Damn! You have written this so beautifully and with such lament and sorrow. You know, some decisions we are forced to make, with no options; no 'way out,' are somewhat like "Sophie's Choice." And, to have to go on after being in such a situation is almost unbearable. I just love this poem...I hope you know that you did the absolute very best that you could; you gave them love, sustenance, shelter, and; most of all...life. To find no help when you plead for it; to find oneself alone in fervent efforts to save life; to give a little relief and yet, to find none yourself...that is the plight of the sensitive, exceptional individual. There are not very many out there, I fear. Not really. I, personally, cannot imagine living a life which does not include empathy for all living, sentient beings. They feel, want, need, prefer, reject and express all the personalty traits that we do...BLESS YOU!!! Amy! Don't ever doubt yourself when you've obviously got the heart and the will to do your best for others. Kathy


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Kathy,

I am very happy to find this beautiful comment upon reentering cyberspace after my involuntary hiatus. For a long time, Kathy, I was very worried that the reason I no longer heard from you was directly connected to this particular piece. My guilt over how this situation ended made me certain that you would be very disappointed in my ineffective attempts to save these innocents. Truthfully, it did not occur to me to have "mama" kitty spayed. I was so busy building her survival camp and she was so tiny, I thought I had time...I know better now. Thank you so much, Kathy, for your charitable and loving words and your recognition that I did try against all odds to save them...without any help, I was in circumstances that blocked me at every pathway I tried to create. Love you, Kathy


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hi Amy. It's been a long time since I read this and I found myself coming back to it. You have written so well and so compelling a poem. My heart breaks anew with each reading. Again and again, believe, you did so wonderfully well for this little family. you did better than anyone would have. And you had no help; not one little bit of help. This is so sad. I know the feeling. I'm reading old poems I wrote as a younger person and books and poems others wrote about ...cats! None touch this one, Amy. Again, I must urge you, find a marketing agent or go online and distribute your work (copywrited!)...there is an audience 'out there' for such beauty and sentiment. All encompassing; not only those who love animals but those who love, those who lose, win, celebrate, fail, hurt, try try again...you've covered it all. Go! Find that avenue for your creativity which will also serve to save you *(financially!) Kathy


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I wish you were here, Kathy. I so appreciate your encouragement. Although I know I'm not dumb, I am when it comes to the business side of actually making your suggestion happen. I realize how disgusting it sounds that I need to be spoon-fed this information. I will trust my instincts and look for avenues that might help in that direction. If you know of a starting place, please let me know Kathy. I appreciate you for all the support and love you send my way. You are an incredible woman.


RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

RobinGrosswirth23 4 years ago from New York

Lives deconstructed, you and your three

Mine now haunted, you're waiting patiently

Now Auschwitz survivors, never quite free

The love you acquired, abandoned by me

~~~~~~~~~~

Some things are beyond our control. Your analogy here is quite strong and I feel your guilt; however, we cannot be all things to all people or even animals. We are all doing the best we can.

You have made me want to read more. Beautiful work.

__________________________________

Although I live on, I am not free

Despite my best efforts, nightmares plague me

No fault of your own, sweet victims of humanity

I cannot forgive nor forget my own fallibility

You are beautifully imperfect, a good thing.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Robin, What a forgiving, kind thing to say "You are beautifully imperfect, a good thing." I will remember that always. You also said the very words my father used to tell me "We cannot be all things to all people. All one can do is their best." It is true, but, nonetheless, it was gutwrenching to ultimately leave them on their own. I was shocked at the fact that not one person would help me, despite my plea. In the end, I felt like those that stood and watched took some sick pleasure in my failure. I still stand by that since their refusal was so simply, ridiculously adamant and since I was asking for nothing but a ride to a sanctuary.

Thank you Robin. I appreciate your visit and sincere comment.


RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

RobinGrosswirth23 4 years ago from New York

You tried the best you could, no one could do more. Is it harrowing to leave animals like that? Yes, but with no alternative, what could you do?

Forgiving yourself is the hardest thing in life.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Yes, forgiving oneself is the hardest thing in life. Yet, I am glad I have a conscience. I am sure the neighbors I asked for assistance, who refused me, lost not one moment of sleep and continue to say they are good neighbors and friends.


RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

RobinGrosswirth23 4 years ago from New York

Too bad you couldn't enlist a vet so that you could conduct something interstate. Rescuers are usually so good across state lines.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Truthfully, Robin, I figured with no room at the inn within Missouri and, as I was told, there were no funds to help within the state, I didn't think I had much chance of help outside my local place of residence. At one point, I had high hopes that a woman who expressed interest in taking the kitties into her home would help, but that, too, fell through. I made the 90-mile, roundtrip to my home for as long as I could to feed, water, clean up after the strays and try to enlist other options, but it eventually became impossible. I even constructed a small, unobtrusive shelter in the empty wooded lot next door, but my ex immediately tore it down. At that point, I was out of options so I had to hope for the best. The gated community had quite a few snobs that told one of my neighbors who relayed to me that "the cats would be taken care of". The man who made this statement had poisoned one feral cat that had the audacity to take up space in a wooded lot in the neighborhood. At that, I can only say I have faith that God is watching.


RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

RobinGrosswirth23 4 years ago from New York

I think in your case in particular, you may be right. Maybe someone eventually took them in. Let's rest there as animal lovers.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I agree, Robin. I had to finally concede and let it rest in God's hands.

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