Dispatch

This piece is featured in the May 2012 issue of Efiction magazine.



Dispatch


The bear was small

and black

and looked like a large dog.

It was even panting,

Gasping,

for air.


One, or perhaps both,

of its lungs

was probably crushed.


It was crawling over asphalt

towards the forest,

home,

bloody

and broken.


It fatally crossed paths with a car.


When the officer arrived on the scene,

he informed us

he would have to “dispatch”

of the bear.


Dispatch.


That word-- dispatch--

it clung

to my brain,

offending my soul.


Dispatch.


Like it was an order of food.

A phone call. A message.

A flight plan.


I looked at the suffering

dog like bear,

it’s useless legs,

bloody paws,

nose and mouth,

crawling futilely

towards home.


I heard a rattle

in its lungs.


And then,

with a well-placed bullet,

it was,

dispatched.


And the wheezing stopped.


Having been dispatched,

the young bear

looked small and weak.

It did not look peaceful.





all rights reserved. copyright Justin W. price Jan. 9, 2012

Thanks for reading.

PDXKaraokeGuy, also known as Justin W. Price, is the managing editor at efiction horror. Husband to andrea, father to two dogs. writer.poet.baseball fan. tattooed. He is am amateur theologian with a rabid sweet tooth.He resides in a suburb of Portland, Oregon.He has a poetry book available for Amazon Kindle, and also maintains a blog, FirstBlog. Please visit his profile page for more information. Thanks!

This song has nothing to do with this poem, but I was listening to it when I was putting the HUB together.

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Comments 36 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Cindi. Very kind words. I almost ran over a dog yesterday. I looked into it's eyes and its been haunting me. I decided to share this again, because it brought those emotions back.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing your poetic efforts!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you so much, Till!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Dawn, very sad. Even though I hated the word, I think the officer said as a way to cope and perform the function without emotion. Even if the animal was suffering, I would have a hard time actually shooting it.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Oh man, this makes me want to cry. I live out in the country and I'm always seeing animals hit by cars on the roads and I always have to wonder how many times and in how many places this happens to animals all over the world. I always say a little spirit prayer for them so that they will find their way home. By the way, PDX - you're getting me into poetry. It's always been intimidating for me, but you're inviting me in. That means you HAVE to be good. :D Beautiful tribute. I know you've just gotten some karma points for this.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

How sad we've pushed the animals into danger! As always, beautifully written and moving. Dispatched with compassion. Voted up. Thanks for SHARING.


Dawn Conklin profile image

Dawn Conklin 4 years ago from New Jersey, USA

Wow, well written! I feel almost as I was there. Very sad when you see an animal suffering. I have seen an officer shoot an animal who was badly hurt from being hit by a car, but I do not remember hearing the word dispatch. If I remember correctly, he said "he would take it out of it's misery." I can understand dispatch not sitting well with you.

Poor bear!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Mary :-) I'd like to think so :-)


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

What a sweet and sensitive person you must be! Great Hub


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Debby, it is funny. I also find it odd that certain words are grating. But I really didn't like the use of the word dispatch int he context it was used. Thanks for reading and commenting


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Hi Justin ~ Well told story. Isn't it strange how certain words "hit" us and don't feel or seem right? We hear them and say, "That does not seem quite right." Wonderful that you have put this one on paper. Elton sure was cute as a youngun. Blessings, Debby


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Bruce, i certainly agree that it was the merciful thing to do... just object to the cold language that was used. It didn't sit well with me! Thanks for reading and commenting!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Very well done...a powerful hub..I could easily picture the scene you painted....and I felt sorry for the little bear....but "dispatching it" was probably better than letting it suffer....job well.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Tammy, was saying you could not "bear" this poem a play on words? LOL. It was sad indeed. Plus, bears look, to me, so much like dogs. It's like one of my dogs was hit by a car and then shot.

b. malin, thank you very much!


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Oh that was so Sad, but oh so Poignant, and Beautifully Expressed in your Poem, KarokeGuy...I could feel the Bear's pain and his wish to make it home. I too Voted UP!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

I could hardly bear to read this poem. All the poor creatures in the world have few places to live any more with all the construction and growth. In my life time I have seen so many animals hurt on the roads like this. You humanized the plight of the bear very well. Sad..


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Racin, you should learn with me that I use titles that draw the readers attention and are relevant to the poem, but don't always reveal the content :o) Thanks for reading and commenting!

Mike, it is funny how the mind works and what triggers certain thoughts and ideas. Thanks for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed this!


mikeq107 4 years ago

Hey PDX Man:0)

Love it well written...my heart goes to the bear...the fiction writer in me saw a US soldier crawling back to his lines only to be shot at the last moment ..strange what triggers our minds...great write!!!

cheers Mike :0)


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 4 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

whew...another food on my platter...i was given the wrong impression upon reading the title of your poem...yet, first impressions don't last...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you, DIMIR. I'm glad you appreciated it. Thanks for your comment!


DIMIR profile image

DIMIR 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States

This poem does so well to capture the emotion and thought of the moment. Excellent read!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Eddy, thank you so much. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this poem!

Susan, me either. It was so shocking to hear and cold. Thanks you for reading and commenting!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Dispatch, I've never heard this word used in this way before. That's an awful word! Such a sad poem. Breaks my heart to read this. The poor little bear.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Hi ,

I loved this one which was told so tenderly.

An up up and away here.

Take care

Eddy.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Leni, I loved your comment. Thank you for the in depth analysis!

Cheryl, me too. It was hard to watch.

Ardie, thank you and, remember, it's good to cry. It releases stress and cleanses the eye balls!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Thank you for the cry. Oh my - I was not expecting this. The poor sweet thing. I would've cried right on the spot and not been able to watch. Your words express the dire situation perfectly.


cherylone profile image

cherylone 4 years ago from Connecticut

So sad, I felt like crying. I hate seeing animals suffer like that. Very good poem, but very sad.


leni sands profile image

leni sands 4 years ago from UK

I hate it when animals get hurt but you capture the scene so well in this poem. Not sure I could have written a poem about such an awful death of a bear or any other dying beast. It always upsets me when man and beast collide even though the collision was a road accident. Excellent poem, very well 'dispatched'. Hit the awesome button but not beautiful because how can such a death be beautiful. Interesting, yes, because of the way you have executed the scene. Thanks for sharing.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

North Wind, I will add it to my Netflix queue and let you know what I think!

Gypsy, I couldn't agree more. I just found that terminology so calloused and it made me really angry. But I also didn't want to bear to suffer anymore. Plus, it looked like one of my dogs, which might be why it hit me so hard!


North Wind profile image

North Wind 4 years ago from The World (for now)

PDX, In my opinion it is worth seeing.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Such a sad tale but surely better for the bear who is in the forest up there among the clouds feeling so much happier. I've always been the one to hate having to put animals down but hey sometimes like in your poem things happen and it's for the best .I used to wonder why they shot and then later used injections for horses who broke their legs. Imagine the horse with a full leg cast among other things. I definetly shed a few tears for the bear.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

deborah, I have no idea. I'm glad you enjoyed this, though

Pickles, I was crying last night when I wrote this. When I went to bed, I asked my wife to hold me and told her I was so so sad. Thanks for saying it was well written!

Ruby, I'm glad you were able to picture the scene. I'm glad you enjoyed this poem! Thanks for visiting!

North Wind, I have never seen that film. Is it worth seeing? Thanks for visiting. I'm pleased that you enjoyed this!

Alastar, I know it was merciful and I also think the officer called it "dispatching" in order to make it easier to do the deed. He didn't seem to take any pleasure in the incidence, but the heartlessness of it all made me very upset.

Thank you all for listening to my heart!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

That was a painful scene for anyone with half a heart in em. Bears are rarely hit but I guess it being young....Dispatch, nice way of saying kill- only it wasn't so nice really. Merciful, yeah. Car wounds, gun kills. Both made by the same hands. You get across what you wanted to very well here Justin.


North Wind profile image

North Wind 4 years ago from The World (for now)

This reminds me of the movie Temple Grandin when she saw the cow alive and asked where it went. She asked that question a lot during the show. I could see the images you painted in your poem, PDX. Great going.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

You wrote this in such vivid detail, i could see the bear as it suffered..How sad..The animals are slowly losing their habitats to land greed..Thank you...


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

oh, I feel like crying which means it was well written. Still, I feel like crying. vote up


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Awesome poem about the bear...hope the bear is nice....lovely poem...I voted up and awesome..debbie

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    Justin W. Price (PDXKaraokeGuy)742 Followers
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    Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award- nominated author based out of Portland, Oregon.


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