Possum by Rebecca



September 20 1999



October Elegy

-- for Possum--


Sometimes I cry

softly for you---

not the swift heavy scythe

of new grief

not the sudden

jagged blade of emptiness

upon which I caught my throat the first time

when I came home and you weren't waiting for me

in the burgundy blue bedroom.


But sometimes

I cry softly slowly,

because I miss the tangerine velvet

of your ears the redemptive depth

of your cinnamon eyes

your orange creamsicle stripe of a tail

that I would thread through my hands

as you drank in your brief

but well-deserved luxury.


If I could say anything in the world

to you right now,

it would be "thank you"---

Thank you for letting me be your friend.

Thank you for sharing your ebullient soul

with me your stifling fear

that we somehow pieced

into trust long slow

stitches that we sewed

into a blue duvet of human comfort

in which I held you in your last days

on this earth.


Sitting in the sun

on the porch in our Baltimore courtyard,

you used to hug my legs,

wrap your paws around me and sigh

a sort of feline sigh

and now I hug your memory

tight to my heart

and I know that I'll see you again,

dear friend,

one day.


1 October 1999