Today I want to talk about the poem on pet loss, titled “Maybe”. LEAVES OF YOUTH readers can find it on page 222.

I wrote “Maybe” in 2009, after a neighborhood cat got hit by a car. I’d been very friendly with this animal and her death affected me, even though I didn’t know her owners.

I’d see this domestic longhair when I’d take walks. Her name was Angel and she was the nicest being you could imagine. She would come running when she saw me, even though she was a shy girl. I have short movies of her doing this.

When I began writing a poem for Angel, the best ideas seemed to come from the first person point of view. It’s an odd way to write but the thoughts flowed best this way. So with this poem, the animal is talking to you.

The poem isn’t just for my situation. I wanted it to be for anyone who’d lost not just a pet, but someone dear. “Maybe” isn’t pet-specific. It can be from a person you’ve lost.

So let’s sit with “Maybe” for a moment. Poems often have voices and this voice is sure, loving and definite. It isn’t in pain, isn’t sad. She’s supreme. She knows you’re hurt, and she’s reaching out to you.

Everything she says is confident. She speaks of ways you and she can reunite. In fact, she tells you six different ways you could “again share a space”. Not in the way you had known, but in ways she knows. With all that she tells you, nothing is outerworldly, nothing is fantasy. As the “Maybe” poem relates, she is simply giving you a heads up to be aware of very real signs.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite lines. She’s telling you something; her love is reaching out to you.

“Maybe one day you’ll make a new friend

With no communication,

But an understanding

That someone you lost was nearby again.”


The poem “Maybe” is from the book THE LEAVES OF YOUTH

About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
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