November 09, 2012

Ghost of my Familiar



Ghost of my Familiar

Grief Must Be witnessed to be Healed
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


At breakfast, Jessica asked if we’d heard a cat
mewing somewhere in the cottage. 

In the bathroom, the shadow of a cat brushed my leg
tagged along until I returned my head to the pillow.

Abigail and I, walking to the vacant camp at midnight
encounter a black cat—eyes flashing moonlight.

In a dream days later, he reappears on the porch, chasing
spiders, sniffing an empty dish. His purrs stir the quiet.

When I wake I remember a skittish calico kitten I fed last summer,
how Denny said not to, he'd only shoot her after I'd gone for the season. 

Now I hear a mournful mewling and recall Frida and Diego,
stalking a brown moth or noiseless rodent in the cottage.

In Jane’s dream of you, you wore a beautiful golden ring
and complained that you could no longer hear Jim's voice.

We hear you. Your laughter, sweet as those redwood 
chimes, sounds against the span and stillness of our sleep.