Burying the Cat

 

Burying the Cat

by Brett Thompson


Inevitably, it will start raining
a persistent misty drizzle, and the cardboard box
will be sodden, so you will lift it gingerly
once you have finished digging the hole,
deeper than you wanted to go, on account of the rain
and on the general unpleasantness of the whole situation
but you must avoid scavengers, lest
come spring your daughters find the tattered bones.
The long handled spade will strike roots
the giant maple in the yard runs wide
and you will have to hack until you make a clean break,
time to time reaching down, into the hole
to clear them out or to claw at stones
not easily dislodged.  And all the while the poor cat
waits by its grave, silent, and the quietness seems to grow,
the traffic and neighborhood kids and the squawking of birds
fading into the rain and the afterglow, while you dig through the dark,
through your suburban backyard, for your cat
for its last act above earth.

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