Sunday, May 22, 2022


From far away, the fireworks
Must have frightened the kitten
Under the bed. New kitten,

Saved stray, newly purchased bed,
The mattress at least. The leaves
That nodded in the thick heat

That summer must all be dead.
Maybe not magnolia
Leaves? How long can those survive?

After the grown cat had died,
And the mattress was sagging,
And the bed had been moved five

Or ten times, a continent
Away, the only body
Still sleeping on it studied

Under a tropical field
Botanist who’d recorded,
Year after year, the long lives

Of leaves on certain species
Of South American trees.
Maybe a few of the leaves

Are still alive that nodded
In the wooded summer heat
When the lovers were lovers

And young and had just purchased
A new mattress and rescued
A kitten that they later

Discovered was someone’s gift
To her daughter who let it
Out, so that it ran away.

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