A Graduate's Poem

Yellow Labrador Guide Dog in harness looking at handlerGuiding Eyes graduate Zerline Johnson recently retired guide dog Margo.  She shares these thoughts as she awaits meeting her new companion in an upcoming class. 

It’s time for my new baby

It’s time for my new baby!
I miss the warmth and pressure
of that body leaning against my leg,
head in lap and eyes fixed on just me!
To stroke those velvet ears and reassure
him/her that I am here.

It’s time for my new baby!
To feed, water, & park;
to say hup up, right left,
forward and even “NO!”
to tell the stories of where we will go
and how we will never part.
And “LETS GO!”

It’s time for my new baby!
To move forward, to say Good boy! Good Girl!
To feel whole again,
To pick up toys and walk carefully just in case
the toy box was missed.
To put on the harness and leash and fly.
To walk with confidence and not poke
myself with the cane because it hit a crack!

It’s time for my new baby!
I want my freedom back!
In just a month I’ll have that chance,
to look down and see that face of him/her
and he/she will look back at me.
What a start and what a dance it will be.

It’s time for my new baby!
I’m counting the days/
Should I bring roses?
or milk bones as welcome?

It won’t matter
for filling the whole in my heart
and carving out a place of its own
will be enough and the smiles that I can feel
bubbling in my soul will suffice.

It’s time for my new baby.