Vox Populi

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Danusha Laméris: The Cat

After my brother died, his wife was sure he was living
inside their cat, Rocky. He’s in there, she’d say, 
   staring into
those blank, yellow eyes. Isma’il? Isma’il? Can you 
   hear me?
She’d tell anyone who came by how the cat would slip 
   into their bed,
put a paw on her cheek and just look at her. Or, 
   other times,
crawl under the covers, turning his furred back 
   to her chest.
My brother had picked out the cat when it was just 
   a kitten,
brought it home for his kids. And there it was, 
   still roaming
the hallways he would never set foot in again.
He’d miss driving them to school, making them pancakes,
reading them to sleep at night. So even though he 
   took himself
out of their lives with a single bullet, aimed at his 
   heart, I see now
that if he could, he’d find a way back to those 
   he loved --
not as a ghost, but to walk, again, among them, 
   almost silently
on his tender paws. Perhaps it was the least 
   he could do,
to pad up the stairs, only the heat of his small 
   body to offer,
his cool and steady eyes.

​Copyright 2020 Danusha Laméris. First published in The Sun Magazine. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.

Danusha Laméris lives in Santa Cruz, California. The Moons of August, her first book, was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the 2013 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize. Her second book, Bonfire Opera, was published by University of Pittsburgh Press in spring 2020.

One comment on “Danusha Laméris: The Cat

  1. Dan Olivieri
    March 18, 2020

    Very heart felt poem— Tender and tragic—The Cat

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 18, 2020 by in Health and Nutrition, Most Popular, Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , , .

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