The old cat sleeps
in the newly arrived sun. One more spring
has come his way
dropping a solar bath
on failing kidneys, old cat bones.
I check for the rise and fall of breath.
Once he stalked hares
across the yard, tracked down
chicken hearts with split-lentil eyes.
Fearless, disinterested, a poseur, a demideity.
He and the dog are strangers still
after years of eating side by side.
I remember times of wailing
into my couch, alone
and utterly baffled by life,
when suddenly a cat
would be sitting on my head.
Last week I pulled him snarling
from under a chair in Dr. Bacon's office,
held him while she examined his dull coat,
felt his ribs. Pressed where it hurt.
Eight pounds of fur and bone and mad as hell
but "He's certainly less anxious in your lap,"
she murmured, astonishing me.
I had no idea. Old cat, old friend,
have I reached some place inside,
added to your life
as you have to mine?
"Pushkin" by Marjorie Kowalski Cole, from Inside, Outside, Morningside. © Ester Republic Press, 2009.
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