NOT ANOTHER CAT POEM
This is not another cat poem
and it’s not about death, although it’s true
the cat died last Friday. It’s also not
about divorce, which might be a surprise.
No, this poem will be about something new,
so new I have not yet seen it. Oregon,
maybe. Or the Northern Lights.
Or Mt. Lemmon in Tucson. I’ll find someone
who’s seen those things and tease this poem
out of him. He’ll insist I try the blueberry pie
at the Mt. Lemmon Cafe, where the waitress
will say, with practiced bemusement,
“Do you want that a la mode or all alone?”
And I will work her into every story I tell
about Tucson—right after I tell about the saguaro,
the way they look so huggable until you get up close.
He will go on to marry someone else, that man,
and I will tell my Tucson story at his wedding
and hug his new wife like a saguaro.
That’s how I know this isn’t a divorce
poem. And they will be dog people,
which rules out the cat. And I will write
this poem quickly, before any of us
has a chance to die.
Author’s Comment: When my 17-year-old cat died, I was amazed at how many memories he was part of—two serious boyfriends, three cross-country moves, a marriage, a divorce, other events large and small. Looking forward, I knew that everything I did from then on, I would do without him. Perhaps most important, I also knew that the world did not need—well, not from me at least—another cat poem. So I didn’t write one.