Before the shortest days begin to grow
A bent head the pallor of broken snow
Sheds its silence and thinks of ancient days
When the finite was in its boundless phase
Memories are foamy seas tossed to hide
The blemished vines of scars long put aside
There is though one that quiet keeps returning
An antique pain of relapsing yearning
A childish lapse that is unforgiving
Tells the tale without stain or thanksgiving
Before the folly of maturity, in a time of sullied innocence
When the days of wanton thoughts and choices were not even dreams
A slight boy of modest mien had found a most unlikely friend.
A black and white kitten had consolidated into life on the Ides of March.
A syncretic shadow, it followed the boy as he made his modest rounds of little purpose.
The waspy creature was a most unlikely feline
It learned its umbra name and never failed to materialize on command.
A most Ruthian animal, it went wherever its favored child did go
Which was the pillar of its quick demise.
A new car just after the planetary convulsion
But a shadow before they slimmed their shape
Was the occasion of communal praise and curiosity’
A crowd of close acquaintances circled the round green mobile
The oxymoronic social cat still not a year’s duration and not quite full sized
Joined the group more from niceness than cliché.
It settled in the shade of the blocks and wires of the metal beast
Which admiring sighs and glances gone came to life.
The boy waited for the cat to make a prudent move,
But it seemingly embraced by the sound remained in its sheltered dark.
He thought to call a halt to the driver, but was gripped by indecision.
The car freed from inertia headed toward the frigid south.
At last alert to danger the animal ran forward and east
It raced at whippet speed to a small square of green 100 yards away.
The boy ran to the breathless feline on its side its eyes brightly charged.
“He’ll never do that again,” he thought as he reached the spot.
Just as the vivid eyes turned to frozen glass. Glazed. Life to death.
It was just a slight black and white cat
It’s brief coincidence just an instant of the old man’s life.
Yet it lingered through the mountain of the years
The turning of the eyes returned more often than the leaves
Both loss and regret fused, a token of mischance
The sightless memory endured the sorrows of succession
And played the silent old man’s thoughts with the strings of decades lost
A wakeful dream that closed his eyes.