Watching my old cat waste away
I want desperately to hate him
While I wipe his piss and shit, again
But today the rage just is not there
I cannot help but ache
About the day I might be in his place
The acrid sting and unplanned mess
Does nothing to lessen
This lesson
If I should make it to his age
Skin, and bones, and howls from pain
My only comfort, food again
Lumps of unkempt, unwashed hair
Foggy eyes that search somewhere
For someone’s hands, that safer space
To hide the world and hide my face
When I am wandering
As he does
Dragging limbs but hanging on
I hope that I will have someone
To wipe, to feed, to comfort me
To offer me sanctuary
To watch me sleep, make sure I breathe
Watching my old cat waste away
beg belief in karmic way


Painting by Dana Payne Saunders

~ by April on January 27, 2016.

4 Responses to “Namesake”

  1. … as ‘he’ did for ‘you’ some time back

    • Hmmmm…remind me of your reference. I am not quite clear on it, may be because it’s early with only one cup of coffee on board.

      • … that if you look after the cat, there’ll be ‘looking after you’, especially when you and ‘cat’ are not so different (your poem – through karma); but then the fact that you ARE now looking after that very same cat now, almost despite yourself, must be because ‘he’ (‘her’, the cat?) must have looked after ‘you’ in a past before ever you were ‘April’ and he was ‘cat’; Buddhist catch-phrase (HA! cat-phrase!), paraphrased: your present [life] [experiences] are the product of your pasts; your future [life] [experiences] are the product of your present

        • Oh of course, got it…I wasn’t carrying the Budheme of Karma far enough. In my defense it was early and I wasn’t awake. Thanks for “clarifying.”

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