About three weeks ago, one of our three cats died. He was fourteen and a half years old and in good health until the night before he died. It was a peaceful end to what I think was a very contented life; this cat had a high opinion of himself that never wavered and things seemed to suit him just fine at our house.
Once he was gone, things seemed a little out of balance at our house for a few days. I wrote this poem because of the way I felt, plain and simple.
By the way, this cat, Jasper, was the brother of Raquel, mentioned in a recent post. If you take the two poems together you have a little portrait of the end of the life-long relationship they had. Raquel is settling down now, but she still seems to be looking for Jasper at times.
Something is Wrong
Watermelon shifting restlessly in its paper bag on the floor
behind my seat
I feel it thud
every time I press the brake or turn the car
I try to turn
The air conditioning blows freezing cold on my hand
all the vents are turned toward me
on this humid hot summer afternoon.
The sky is a thick metallic-glazed bowl
marked with blue spaces that
open and shut.
In the filtered breezy strong two o’clock light
the leaves on the trees are turning over
the thunderclouds are building.
I have a dead cat on the floor in my basement laundry room
where he died this morning of old age
I know because I was there
I had to go out for errands so I covered him with a towel
as a friend suggested
and left everything for later.
I stop for the red light
the watermelon rolls the bag crackles
my purse falls off the front seat on to the floor
and spills its contents