In honor of all who mother in one way or another, I offer you this poem I wrote for a poetry class at my local library. The teacher said that it couldn’t rhyme, so here goes:

Family of Nine
By Katherine Schneider

Nine mugs march across the shelf with pictures and names

Reminders of forty-one years of guide dogs.

Sighted friends remember them by color and expression.

I hold dear the adventures we shared.

All have kept me safe, each in their own way.

Trust a dog with your life? Cindy taught me yes!

Beth was bold—shouldering obstacles aside like poinsettias on narrow steps up to the lectern at Mass.

Sugar liberated snacks from people while still guiding flawlessly.

Tatum ripped my heart out; dying in a freak accident.

Carter was noble and steady—a Golden saint.

Garlyn had the work/life balance thing down just right.

Ivanna said “Please like me” to the whole world.

Fran was flexible and cheerful but firmly signaled retirement when her vision started to fail.

Now Luna shines—quiet in public and a lunatic at home.

All have been best friends, eyes, guides and companions on life’s journey.

Will there be a tenth cup?

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