“You Ride” my tenth ekphrastic response for National Poetry Month prompted by another painting showing the artistry of Marcel Herms.

10 A vision from the past[24136]

You Ride

the dog
when you recall
the third hand
message
that your only child
your daughter
has died
in hospital
of her cancer.

You ride

the dog
as your hubby
of sixty years
does not know you,
Shits in his underwear
then takes them
off and turns them upside down
on your bedroom carpet,

You ride
the dog when you get
up, clean him
off in the bathroom
whilst he squeezes
your arms till you scream,
put on a fresh clean
pair for him,
sit him down with a harsh
Don’t move
while you scrub
his shit off
the carpet,
put him to bed.

You ride
the dog when on holiday
in Bournemouth
you get a call
from your only grandson
to say your only granddaughter
has died
in a car crash
and you pay
a taxi driver
to go the 300
miles
back home.

I ride the dog
at your bedside
because you fell
in the old folks home
and have not yet
opened your eyes
and your breath
is on automatic.

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