Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Poetry – Dorothy Cronin (1949 – 2006) ‘Tuffy’ – A much loved family pet

Over the last few months I have been sharing the stories of my father-in-law Geoff Cronin and now I would like to share the poetry of another member of my extended family, my sister-in-law Dorothy Cronin who we sadly lost in 2006. Dorothy did however leave behind her stunning poetry that we published in a collection a year after her death.

Tuffy had entered the life of my parents-in-law by chance and this scruffy little dog had the heart of a lion. When Sam our lassie collie, was a few months old and twice the size of Tuffy, I took him down to introduce them. He spent the entire visit with his back to the room in a corner, corralled there by the mistress of the house, while she sat a few feet back on guard. He would risk an occasional look over his shoulder at his tormentor and then quickly return to his position of submission.

No dog in the lane was safe from her territorial ardour and it was completely immaterial as to their size or verocity. She was queen of the lane and woe betide any dog, cat or postman who was under any other impression.

She left an indelible impression on us all and Dorothy put this into words with her poem.

Tuffy

Twilight dog
Racing against dog-coloured shingle
In the shadow of the night –
Now real
Now ghost
Now an echo of dog
On shifting shingle –
Echo of a memory
Of warm fur
And warm tongue
And unconditional devotion
Expressed in muddy paw marks
On the pristine flooring
Of memory
And kitchen.

©Dorothy Cronin Rainbows in Amber 2007

About Dorothy Cronin by David Cronin

Dorothy was always a prolific writer, and in the introduction to an earlier collection she wrote … “As long as I can remember, words and the rhythms of speech have fascinated me. I was drawn early into reading poetry, but did not begin to write poetry until I was 13. I was instantly hooked, and, through dry and fertile periods, have remained so…” She has produced some wonderful work since then, and this collection holds just a few of these jewels.

In the year before her untimely death, in April 2006, Dorothy and I had discussed the publication of a collection of her poetry, and she was in the process of selecting poems and creating a number of short, themed groups for publication. Unfortunately, that process was cut short and we shall never know her final choices. However, this collection comes mainly from her own personal favourites.

I believe that anyone who reads these poems cannot fail to be moved: be it to tears, laughter or just a wry smile. They show a keen observation of the world she lived in; a profound insight into the people about her; the perception to find beauty in the simplest of things; and above all, the ability to encapsulate a moment of feeling in a package of words.

My one regret is that she is not here to see the impact that her words will have.

I will be sharing a number of Dorothy’s poems in coming weeks in tribute to a remarkable woman and friend.

34 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Poetry – Dorothy Cronin (1949 – 2006) ‘Tuffy’ – A much loved family pet

  1. Hi, Sally:

    What a wonderful poem Dorothy wrote for Tuffy. I’m so sad they’re both gone — and do believe they are together. Thanks for sharing! Very special.

    xx

    Liked by 1 person

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