Friday, July 21, 2023

What The Cat Dragged In by B. Lynne Zika

Brane and Ellie quietly hold 

her mother’s ashes

until conditions make way 

for a small ceremonial burying,

the urn to be housed 

alongside her father’s coffin

in a Long Island family plot.

A gathering of friends and family.

I found my son

face down on the living room floor.

I fuss at him 

each time I clean the damned litterbox

of the cat he left behind.


Older calico lost her human.

Currently cared for

by original owner’s mother.


Will you be the one 

to make the arrangements?

Decide what mode and when?

Will you sort through clothes,

puzzle over passwords,

notify banks, post offices, friends,

cancel appointments, 

terminate subscriptions?

With all tomorrow’s dreams broken,

with unpaid bills, unanswered mail,

and all the tears you haven’t shed,

will you feed the cat?

B. Lynne Zika, a long-term closed-captioning editor, is an award-winning poet and photographer. Her recent book, The Strange Case of Eddy Whitfield, multiformat, is available through standard booksellers. Her father, also a writer/poet, bequeathed her this advice: Make every word count.