Our Lady of the Pootens

wikimedia commons
public domain in the United States
Lamentation of Christ, Erfurt, c. 1480, limewood, original colours
Skulpturensammlung (Inv. 5930, erworben 1910), Bode-Museum, Berlin
Photo: Andreas Praefcke 

He called me “our lady of the pootens,”
“pootens” being those
creatures who could not
survive on their own.

The appellation was not meant in honor
nor in love--
the sardonic maybe,

as I picked up yet another
hurt and hungry animal
to harbor for a time,
until it healed,
or died.

He didn’t know that was empathy.
He wanted it to be something else,
a space that I carved out
only for Him
a space for Him
to heal,
or die.

But I couldn’t do it for Him.
I just couldn’t.

copyright/all rights reserved 2012 Audrey Howitt 


  1. A noble thing to do Audrey! I've a friend who couldn't resist taking in strays. His house was full of them. Cost a bomb to feed. Worth every cent he used to say! Nice write!


  2. Love this one too. Sounds a bit like me.

  3. Loved this one too. Sounds a bit like me.

  4. I don't blame you for not being able to do it for him...powerfully stated, Audrey.

  5. Hi Audrey--thank you so much for stopping by my blog. This is a beautiful poem--sometimes we can't save them. You just know. This definitely hit home. Well done :-)

  6. ugh i dont know that i could do it for him either...not if that is the way he is going to treat you...you know...

  7. Such a beautiful piece ... you have depicted the emotions really well !!!

  8. Audrey, you are a very caring person. If a person cares about animals, I think it says something about their character. I felt your poem deeply.

  9. I'm sure I couldn't do it for him either. We get back what we give out. I'm glad you were so aware of you rown precious worth. I'm sure I could do it for any creature though. :) Love people who share empathy with other creatures who want to live every bit as much as we do.

  10. Wonderful - a really strong sense of the narcissist here - but very psychologically real and sympathetic too. Well done. k.

  11. wow...what an awesome write...you paint a finely woven image here with lots of subtle undertones..

  12. You focused on a strange facet of jealousy. People seem to resent others who collect what we call 'lame ducks'.
    Interesting write.

  13. Once again, i agree with claudia
    Subtle undertones
    And though your conclusion is a simple statement, i think i get it.
    As for strays, i'm the worst! If i eat, everybody eats. Saved so many cats i've run out of names.


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