Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Best Dog in the World

Before today, I've never had to make the decision to put an animal to sleep.
I posted this poem last year but here it is again for Benji, and all those last times that we didn't know were last times - and all the better because of that.

The Last Swim
September, October ... one thing
you don't know at the time is when
you've had your last swim: the weather
may hold, may keep nudging you in.

Only afterwards, sometimes days on,
it dawns on you that you've done:
just the thought of undressing outdoors,
exposing bare skin, makes you wince.

And that's best, to have gone on swimming
easily to the end: your crawl
full of itself, and the future
no further than your folded towel. 

Michael Laskey
From The Tightrope Wedding, 1999


  1. I love swimming poems :) do you swim year round? do you live near me? we could go together! you probably don't live near me though...the windermere isn't near here! I rhyme! Love your blog :)

  2. Good Lord, a swimming blog! This is so surreal I shall follow you forthwith.

    Benji looks like he was a dude. I'm a dog kind of person. Lovely choice of poem.

  3. Jessica, if you come back, I'm incommunicado with yours again.

  4. Thanks for your comments Jessica and Titus.
    Yes it would be great to swim Jessica, but I fear we are in different countries...one day maybe...
    and yes, Titus, a dude, a dude is exactly what he was...