Behind me up on the back of the couch
a cat should be slouched
secretly nibbling my hair,
I can pretend silent cat feet are crossing the room
that there is no vacuum in my life
once filled with fur, purrs, her rapid heartbeat.
Yesterday I heard her voice awaken me from sleep.
And then nothing. She isn’t here, there, anywhere.
Just in my remembered peripheral vision
stalking, sneaking up to lick my bowl of ice cream,
a paw slips into the iced tea beside me.
I am un-used to her absence.
Tomorrow, maybe, try again to make a little sense
of the brevity of how our lives were touched
by four mitten-ed feet
Cheered by a chickadee picking seeds from a feeder
Its black and white cap an echo
of our black and white tuxedo cat
seven days planted in the garden.
Her bones will nourish the viburnum
which in turn will provide food for the birds
she loved watching, longing to tweak their feathers
with her outstretched paws
her voice echoing in turn their more melodic calls.
c. March 2011 Darlene Moore Berg