“The Return” by Minna Irving

I pushed the tangled grass away

And lifted up the stone,

And flitted down the churchyard path

With grasses overgrown.

I halted at my mother’s door

And shook the rusty catch



“The wind is rising fast,” she said,

“It rattles at the latch.”

I crossed the street and paused again

Before my husband’s house,

My baby sat upon his knee

As quiet as a mouse.

I pulled the muslin curtain by,

He rose the blinds to draw

“I feel a draught upon my back,

The night is cold and raw.”

I met a man who loved me well In days ere I was wed, He did not hear, he did not see, So silently I fled.

— But when I found my poor old dog, Though blind and deaf was he, And feeble with his many years, He turned and followed me.

– Minna Irving, “The Return”

Related Posts:

– “November Night”

– “The Vampire”

– Love + Radio: Ghost Stories

Categories: Poetry and Prose

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 replies

  1. OooOooo, darling! You know how to give me goosebumps! Well done. It got me all tingly… and more than a little sad. The poor girl. 😦

  2. That was so sad! Little old doggy. I’m sure my cats would notice too, if no-one else. Loved it!

    • I know! Sweet dog. :’-}

      If you want a laugh, check out the hyperlink at the poetess’s name – it takes you to an article from the 1890’s in the New York Times from a trial she was involved in. She sounds like she was quite a handful!

  3. Simply fantastic! I have read it over and over again!

  4. Great choice. Very meaningful to me as I lost a dog about 3 months ago. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Oh now this was just beautiful. Quaint, creepy, melancholy … then that kicker at the end. ‘Can’t believe I was unfamiliar with this poem until now. I’m really enjoying your blog. I love your sensibilities.

    • Thanks, Renae! I’ve been enjoying your writing, as well. Hope we see you back here again – Acadia and I have plans for you all this Halloween.

      *laughs mysteriously*

      Well, okay, it’s mostly just a really fabulous Halloween contest. But still! Costumes! Prizes! Halloween stuff! It will be like a carnival full of good times and candy apples!

  6. Beautiful post. Elegant narration….Eva Halloween, where have you been all my life?


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