Shakira the Friendly Dog
I am a friendly yellow dog. Shakira is my name.
I’m always ready for a jog, go fetch or other game.
When I was only six weeks old, I came to live with Ben.
He wasn’t big enough to hold me but we’ve grown since then.
Now I’m his close assistant; he’s not ever on his own.
Where Ben goes, I’m consistently his loyal chaperone.
He’s never in the pool except I swim along beside,
And not a single night he’s slept without me by his side.
When we play football in the park, Ben’s always safe with me.
The bullies scatter at my bark; I guard him faithfully.
If we play cricket in the yard, the ball is mine to catch.
In all the world it would be hard to find a better match.
But recently there’s been a change. I’m not allowed upstairs
And Ben’s been acting kind of strange as if he hardly cares.
He doesn’t even want to play or run or swim right now.
I wish that I could find a way to turn time back somehow.
If I should whimper like a child each time he walks away
And maybe go a little wild, he might decide to stay.
I’ll throw my front paws on his chest and slobber on his face.
Then he’ll remember I’m the best friend that he can’t replace.
Oh no, my plan does not work well! Ben isn’t so impressed.
From his expression I can tell he must be slightly stressed.
My paw prints stamped his brand new shirt which shouldn’t make him shout.
Ben doesn’t mind a little dirt so what’s the fuss about?
‘Get down, Shakira,’ Ben commands. ‘Go over there and wait.’
He doesn’t seem to understand I’m telling him he’s great.
At this point, I see something new. Ben’s mum comes to the door.
She holds a bundle wrapped in blue I haven’t seen before.
‘He’s ready for the photo, Ben. His eyes are open wide.’
A grin undoes Ben’s frown and then he follows her inside.
I creep towards the open door. I peek into the room.
I tiptoe on the polished floor and sniff a sweet perfume.
Ben’s baby brother stares at me. I recognise his face
And as we’re gazing, suddenly, it all falls into place.
‘Shakira, girl,’ Ben calls, ‘Come here. You’re in the photo too.’
Instead of ONE dear boy, it’s clear, now I belong to TWO.
- Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #27 (Saffy)