Tuesday: Vet

I have kept nine cats. Do not think
That I was careless with their lives.
Kittens off dumps, Persians on brink
Of costly illness, came to me.
Quick beads off strings, they followed on.
The white cat snored to eighteen, but
Not the Siamese, with twisted gut.

I purr the litany of names:
Moth, Bumble, Puffball, Honey Bear,
Nemo, Magpie. Four remain,
Ricky , Thomas, Moonlight, Fizz.
Do we end life as we began?
I saw much of their seven deaths,
Startled; loud; the lightest breath.

Despite sharp tests, the X-rays’ glow,
Their illnesses fell fatal, vague.
A sick cat follows, though you go
Through the wind’s walls, the rugless room.
In light’s first pulse, are we alone,
Or live to leave? The thin feet claw.
The cat hooks back the moment’s door.

Alison Brackenbury

If you've any comments on this poem, Alison Brackenbury would be pleased to hear from you.