I've had the poem in a scrapbook for many, many years... have read it many, many times... and still I cry each time I read it.
The second poem, "Animal Orphans" was written by me over twenty years ago.
None marked his fright, none heard his cries.
His struggles ceased; he lay at last
With wide, uncomprehending eyes,
And watched the sky grown dark above
and watched the sunset turn to grey,
And quaked in anguish while he strove
To gnaw the prisoned leg away.
Then day came rosy from the east,
But still the steel jaws kept their hold,
And no one watched the prisoned beast,
But fear and hunger, thirst and cold.
Oppressed by pain his dread grew numb,
Fright no more stirred his flagging breath.
He longed in vain to see him come
The cruel hunter, bringing death.
Then through the gloom that night came One
Who set the timid spirit free;
"I know thine anguish, little son;
So once men held and tortured Me."
Wherever they wander, the sick and the stray,
Oh, send them to me, I'll not turn them away.
For I am their keeper, their mother, their friend.
And they are my children, their lives I'll defend.
These creatures that walk not upright and straight.
Animal creatures, so unsure of their fate.
Destined to suffer, to struggle and die,
Unless they are rescued by one such as I.
But I am of few, such a saddening few.
What of the rest? Why can't they love them too?
Humans are animals, the worst of them all,
And they own the world, for they walk straight and tall.
And they never look down to the helpless and weak,
To the ones who must crawl, unable to speak.
Except for the few, the ones such as I,
Who, with love and devotion, respond to the cry
Of the lost, sick and hungry, who are destined to die.
Who struggle and suffer and never ask why.
As long as I live, I will do all I can
To save all the creatures from the tortures of man.
The animal orphans, wherever they be,
The sick and the stray.. Oh, send them to me!
For I'll be their keeper, their mother, their friend.
And they'll be my children till my own life must end.