Sorry for all the sadness here, folks. I have some happier themes to get to: odd birds I've seen, reconciliation with my garden, the renovation of our home for passive solar heating. But first, a goodbye poem that I wrote last night.
It's been a long day.
Seems like a week ago,
but it was only this morning
and already halfway to noon
when we walked to the car, the vet and I,
I with your familiar carrier under my arm
and she with that unfamiliar little box.
"Oh, that wind's got up!" she said.
"It wasn't like this when I was out before."
So strange, that little box on the floor
as I drove and tried to keep my teary eyes on the road
with your so-familiar carrier on the seat
and the shape of you showing between its bars
until I glanced at you
and you weren't there.
At home you were everywhere -
the food bags in the porch,
the dishes on the kitchen floor,
the leash on the fridge,
the litter box in the hall;
and after I tidied so many things away,
there was the scratch on the back of my hand,
the kitten photo on Ruth's bedroom wall -
my fingers interlacing
'round the then-tiny body that
yesterday could stretch tall enough
for a survey of the dining table -
and oh, several times, as never before,
that wild wind making the sound of your meow.
But I think I missed you most
when I had just got busy
making salad for the supper
not that I was up to any potluck supper
but it was on the calendar
and it occupied my mind:
a head of broccoli, a scoop of raisins, a tin of peaches;
nothing there to warn, to brace me,
and so I squeezed the can opener
and twisted the handle
and at the sound of the yielding lid
sexy, year to year
3 weeks ago