I find myself concerned,
Now that you’re buried beneath
Some bulbs at the bottom
Of the garden, that you are cold.
Ridiculous to think of you
Lying in the soil
As like yourself as yesterday
You lay upon my lap – exhausted
By the life you’d led; your chance

Encounter with this world of big
Wheels and cricket balls and hedgerows fat with mice,
Of rollercoaster rides
On the racks of builders’ vans
Of imprisonments in glasshouses
With bulging hot tomatoes,
Of irritating bluebottles
Landing on your nose,
Of drinking from dripping taps
Or licking breakfast bowls.

A life of observation
And specialised discretion
Spent watching us from corners
And hiding from the noise,
Spent sleeping in high cupboards
Or the box of dirty clothes,
Spent staring at the cat flap
Unsure what’s for the best;
Ready never for action
But always for a rest.

And then
Your final journey home,
Wrapped up inside your basket
So different from that van ride
Or your slalom down the drive,
The patch upon your paw
That they shaved to take the needle
An absence of fur that
We’ll never see grow back.

Now Sophie you are still
Cat shaped within the earth
The house remains illuminated
As life continues on;
As the flowers break through above you
And the seedlings settle down
We find ourselves reminded that
Your fate contains our own.

October 2004


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