Poems to Pass the Day By: Repatriating the Donkeys

Repatriating the Donkeys

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There wasn’t even the sound of their hooves,

Unshod of course,

On the gravel path down to the stables.

The only warning was the dog yelping indoors

To be let out –

To welcome the visitors, or inspect them at least.

Soon as I opened the front door he scarpered down

But stopped some feet away.

They were unconcerned, little donkeys, on a visit.

 

Bringing them back to their home was harder:

They would not be caught, head shy.

They followed a bucket of meal, softly, as if unsure

Turning this way and that to explore green grass instead.

 

My youngest lead the way with the bucket,

The donkeys, three of them, behind.

All went well until we met the dogs down the road:

The barking terriers that ran a race inside their fence

For all passerbys and especially donkeys.

 

Donkeys would not pass by with such runners racing the fence

And barking as if the Lord himself was coming.

They always do that, although donkeys might be closer.

And it was nearly Christmas, so they had a point.

 

I brought up with rear with four feet of wavin pipe

Shaking it in the air, whooshing them along

Good dogs, good donkeys

But the dogs kept barking and the donkeys turned heel

I stood my ground but donkeys are stubborn.

 

It was a stalemate – a head to three heads.

Even with my wavin I could not cover the entire road

I waved my wavin, the dogs barking, the donkeys rushing at me and then back

 

My daughter shook the bucket again

Food over barking

Food over wavin

Food for little donkeys.

 

Obedient as if butter would not melt in the mouths

They turned and trotted after the bucket

Down the road, me in tow,

Wavin low.

We reached the open gate, cause of escape,

And they went back in: one, two, three.

I closed the gap and closed the gate in a bound.

 

Donkeys repatriated.

Just in time for Christmas.

 

By Jillian Godsil