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  • Anne Nygren Doherty

Tragedy at Funston



Two friends - both women - walked a golden dog

A day after a long and thorough rain

Did saturate the coast; they walked in fog

On heavy sand; the leash pulled from the strain

Of Fido, cooped up in the house for days,

The winds of freedom blowing through his fur,

Excited, pulling cliff-ward - no delays,

For restless dogs cannot their joy defer.

Below their path, half buried in the sand,

Lay concrete battlements of the great war;

That storms long separated from the land

And dropped like broken dishes on the floor.

Standing high above them on the cliff,

The women talked of love and life and more;

One noticed Fido stop, and then go stiff,

Sensing something shifting in his core.

Too late! What happened, happened in a blur;

As if of life itself they’d had enough,

Two women and a dog - and where they were -

Vanished as the sands pulled down the bluff.

The tragedy made heroes of a few

Who saved the dog and his mistress’ friend.

Through the night did toil a rescue crew;

When rain returned, the search came to an end -

For waves were breaking on the fallen sand.

By morn, the mighty ocean had dismissed

Grain by grain the woman’s grave unplanned

And sent her body floating in the mist

Away from dogs and friends and those who mourn,

Who’ve nothing left besides her memory.

Too soon from Earth a woman-child was torn

To join the mermaids hidden in the sea.

Anne Nygren Doherty 2020