Poetry

22.

You once
stayed outside in a storm
in the middle of October
and it took
a lot of waiting by the bushes
to coax you into my arms.

You were never in distress,
though you were a princess,
the tough independent sort
who liked to be left alone.

How many head scratches
and chin rubs
does it take to show love?
They were never enough,
they were
not
enough.

You grew tired of head scratches
fast,
and you pulled away,
and I wish I’d spent more time
letting you run outside.

Years passed by,
“I have a cat, well, I guess
she’s more like my parents’ cat,
but I lived with my parents for a long time …”
Our sentences jumped to different pages.
Different lives, different ages,
if only I had paid you more attention.
I’m sure everyone says something similar to this.

It doesn’t make it stop hurting.

Once black and sleek,
turned to brittle, bony, and rough,
your fur told bitter histories I would never repeat for anyone.
Four pounds is a lot to lose in just a few days,
and that last lost pound,
I think I can blame it for the whole mess.

You are a beautiful mass of quick black fuzz.
I will always hold your memory close against the rain.
Playing your knight was a privilege,
and I would do it all over again
just to feel your head bump against my heart
once more.

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