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Elegy For Sasha

White Cat on Cushion

White Cat on Cushion

You know, I loved you beyond reason,
for you were love in fur.
As a kitten, you were
more dog than cat,
chasing foil balls,
pouncing on your shadow
in the hallway.
You guarded my second baby
like a lion, licked my hand
with sand when the first one died.

Your eyes, blue marbles,
depthless as water;
your fur, white, immaculate.
You sat, china cat,
in the sun front window;
your purr was a motor
love set ticking.
You’d square yourself
in any box or corner.
No one has ever loved me more,
for less.

At the vet’s,
cage of cold steel,
smelling of dogs and dampness,
you laid your cheek
on my hand,
no longer summer’s clouds,
told me it was all right
to go,
and let your body sleep.

I still hear you
crunching in the kitchen,
still hear your pads
in the hallway,
little fog feet.

Love holds us up
for sacrifice;
I bare my veins
like a roadmap.
I have never been loved more,
for less,
for you were love in fur.

 

 

Author’s Bio:
Barbara Crooker’s books are Radiance, winner of the 2005 Word Press First Book Award and finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize; Line Dance (Word Press, 2008), winner of the 2009 Paterson Award for Excellence in Literature; and More (C&R Press, 2010). Her poems appear in a variety of literary journals and many anthologies, including Good Poems for Hard Times (Garrison Keillor, editor)(Viking Penguin) and the Bedford Introduction to Literature.

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