Thursday, February 28, 2019


It’s weird to be grieving
The loss of a cat I never liked;
The only cat to whom I ever was allergic;
Who cried incessantly until I picked her up;
Who was only ever happy on my lap...

The scent of her urine (so annoying)
Stayed embedded in her fur,
And my office often reeked of it.
Her constant shedding clogged my keyboard
And gummed up my mouse,
so I confess I was grateful
when the masses in her lungs
(not to mention her arthritis and her asthma,
her irritable bowel and the sores in her mouth)
Grew too significant to be ignored
And we could finally let her go,

And yet...

Something in me is saddened by her loss.
Some part of me is grieving,
Not just guilty,
But regretting that I never loved enough,
And realizing
That all the times I told her that I loved her,
When she rolled onto her back
And demanded that I rub
The soft fur of her belly,
It was true.

Saturday, February 16, 2019


He sits, slumped, at the table,
nose almost but not quite buried
in the cauliflower she so carefully braised,
hoping to stimulate his waning appetite.

She’s breaking, I can see, though she hides it well.
Nothing in her highly successful life
has prepared her for the pain of this:
the agony of watching as he writhes or slumps in defeat,
the sudden cries of pain, the lack of sleep; the odors, so pervasive,
the opioid prescriptions that run out all too soon;
no break in the constant watchfulness; no mobility
to plan or to anticipate a moment’s peace or a healing walk.

We watch her breaking, brittle mirror of our own mortality
for those of us who fly in, hoping to help
or say goodbye – she can’t or won’t say which --
and watch, him slumped, her breaking,
as she clears the dishes from the table,
breaking – she could throw this handmade cup against the wall,
watch its breaking match her own;
wishing back to when its clay was slumped upon a wheel
and spun to life between her highly successful fingers;
spin him back to life before he crashes into the wall
of his mortality.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Ah yes, the chocolate

I watch as you come sliding down
     that long path on your sled,
          squealing with joy;

Watch as the dog bounds up,
     and barks, and licks your face.

Watch, and remember other snowy days,
     the taste of snowflakes on my tongue,
     the long slow slippy climb
          up to the top to speed back down again,
     the way the snow would tangle
          hardened lumps of ice in our wool mittens
     the tingling of my toes in their rubber boots
          when finally our mothers called us in,

     the redness of our cheeks, and knees,
     the wooden rack on which we humg
          our socks to drip and dry,

And always, the hot chocolate; ah, yes, the chocolate --
     marshmellows melting in our mouths...

I think I'll make some now, and skip all the rest!