Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Prophetic Poem - Comes True

I wrote this poem just before Reuben went into Basic Training in September 2006. You wonder when you write something so simple, but so telling if it will actually or eventually come true. It has.

Matrix came to our family in the very usual way - - we went to the shelter to find a puppy. However, he was a rare find. He was too sick to be adopted. They were actually considering putting him down in a no-kill shelter. We begged. We were not allowed to take him home immediately, we had to secure a health program with the vet and guarantee that we would follow it. We had to check in, and be diligent with not only his medicines but also with having him neutered and following up with bi-monthly meetings to be sure the shelter had made the right decision in allowing a very wormy, very dehydrated animal to go home where children would be residing. Little did we know Matrix would become not only the most incredibly healthy dog that he has been -- he would become a prophet of sorts.

Matrix knows when one or the other of us is sick and he'll simply lay down with that person, not leaving them until it's time for them to be better. He's spent days with us at times; including me. Rarely leaving me to go outside or even eat. He just laid down beside me until I felt strong enough to get around. He's also trained so many of our fostered puppies and taught each of them when to eat, not to eat constantly, and not to sleep on HIS pillow or the back of HIS couch. He can be territorial.

The mix is amazing. He is 1/2 Beagle and therefore loves to point at squirrels, but he is also 1/2 Dachshund and feels the need to chase them up their trees. So, there he is pointing and stuttering across the yard until his Dachshund personality comes through fully and he's nearly grabbed the furry booger. Lucky for all squirrels he's got that hunter instinct rather than just the snagger! He's fast for a little fat dog too - - and all 28 pounds of him is perfectly overweight, not one ounce out of place. I tell him all the time he's the perfect size, the perfect color, the perfect mutt - - because he is.

I began my dream of there being a time when it was just me and Matrix as a joke. I would tell the kids "Hey, when it's just me and Matrix, I won't be making you stew because I can go out and bring him back something." Or I'd say "I don't know about you, but when it's just me and Matrix I'm going to turn the AC down and save some money, he doesn't care!" But what began as a threat has made it's way to reality. I wrote the poem for my poetry book Periwinkle (Xlibris, 2007) and it has become a reality. Laura is at school - Caity is marching to her own drum - and Reuben is (unfortunately) at war. In a few weeks I will be moving away from my home state and working full time in a land I have only visited with my dog Faith. I am not however taking Faith to live with me at this time. She will remain with my mom and, it really really will be...Just Me and Matrix. I hope you like the poem...and the dog.
When Its Just Me and Matrix

There’s gonna come a time
A day will make its entrance
When all that’s left in the house
Is just me and Matrix

We won’t throw towels on the floor
He never even needs one
He only wants to be let out
Or fed, or held, or loved on

There won’t be anyone to taxi
No toys that need to be fixed
Only peace and quiet
When it’s just me and Matrix

I tell him that he cannot die
I say I will replace him
He winks at me with a perfect smile
He knows I really love him

Laura will be off to school
Her sister Cait with her tricks
Will follow whichever drum she hears
When it’s just me and Matrix

Reuben will be off to war
I swear he’d better pray hard
I want to see my boy again
Barbecuing in the backyard

There will be a day I know
When the kids will leave the nest
And when they do I’ll cry a few
When it’s just me and Matrix

- Jude Stringfellow, 2006

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