To our Cat Mika

I'm sorry you had to leave, Mika,
I think you were ready, stumbling splay-legged, 
no place soft enough to rest your bony body,
though we fought hard to keep you,
to say no to the shot that set you still at last.

Set you still and set you free.

Just days before you died
we took you to the trees beside the lake.
Waves splashed the rocks below, 
amber-clear and full of light, 
the air, too, full of light
slanting from the rise and fall of the water,
a shimmer of possibility
that jostled into being and subsided.
The leaves glistened, rich,
each acorn cap, cactus nub, full of meaning.

You lay on the leaf drift
above a ledge of red grit sandstone
in the sound of the waves and the wind off the water,
and I thought this is what heaven is like,
thought this is what my father's death was like that day, 
why I knew before I climbed the stair that he had gone.

Thank you for that, that glimpse.
We can call it heaven or the primal void
or the vast bright water that brings forth cats and men and stars.
All I know is that it shines.

1 comment:

Emma Jane said...

“All I know is that it shines.” Yes. Beautiful, Sarah. I’m sorry for your loss.