I was alone, afraid,
And on the streets;
I was hungry and cold
My outlook was bleak.

I was dirty, bedraggled
And shunned by all;
I huddled in doorways
And slept on the floor.

Neither the alley lane
Nor passing throng
Offered a friend
Who would linger long.

A beggar, alone,
Too weak to care;
I called out God’s name
He heard my despair.

Then a large shaggy dog
Came limping by
Unkempt, uncared for
Just as I.

It stopped where I’d fallen
And whimpered low,
Then laid down beside me
And muzzled my brow.

He licked though I cursed
And closer drew near
His large panting body
Filled me with fear.

Till  I looked in his eyes
And a friend I saw there;
Man and beast
United in prayer.

                        © Helen Catherine Cramer

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