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 heard a cat mewing
in the night, somewhere
in the cottage.

The next night as I walked
to the bathroom the dark shadow
of a cat brushed my leg,

tagged along until I returned
my head to the pillow
and drowsed back into a dream.

When Abigail and I walk down
to the vacant camp at midnight,
we encounter a black cat,
eyes shooting moonlight.

Days later, she reappears in a
dream, on the porch chasing
spiders, sniffing an empty
dish. Her purrs stir the quiet.

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

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

Jane says she dreamed of you last night.
You wore a beautiful golden ring,
complained you could no longer
hear Jim's voice; we always hear you,

your laughter, sweet
as redwood chimes sounding
against the span and stillness of our sleep.