Death of a Beloved Cat

Death of a Beloved Cat

A Golden Shovel with lines from Stanley Kunitz’s “The Testing Tree”

He was a cat so smart we had in-
        jokes only we two understood—a 
        sudden change, gaunt frame, the murderous
        knock of loss opening an empty door time after time,
        me, an old man, wondering where he goes after the
        death we could not stop, after the heart
we loved had stilled, when his deathless spirit breaks
        like a wave across my chest, I sink in my chair and
        try to find the laugh we shared; it breaks
        as I see him bounding up the stairs and
        leaping to my call, for a moment he still lives,
        and then he fades, and waves, one by
one, roll down my sorrow’s stair, breaking and breaking.

Jefferson Singer

Photo: Pietro Schellino on Unsplash

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