Monday, May 20, 2013

20 may 2013

Miss Vee

I know it’s unreasonable
especially for someone like me
who doesn’t cry easily or often
to tell you how often I cry now
how I might show up at your house
unable to say a word without crying
but if I try to explain
it comes out sounding
like something Elizabeth Bishop said better
in a poem that’s in a book I’ve lost
along with the rest of my books
all my journals & my mother’s journal
half my clothes plus everything else
Mike didn’t bring back in his luggage
when he returned from Argentina
things I don’t even ask about
like the chenille throw Susan gave me
the fossil rock Ben gave me
material things I cared for
yet those are the least of it
so far behind 
horses cropping alfalfa out windows
that leaked in every rain
onto the windowsills & down 
along the badly set & poorly caulked frames
wet that streaked the paint
of many colors — kiwi & mauve
jalapeño, sunset, goldfinch
so swift & violent
I scrubbed every trace from my computer & the web
every picture, every glimpse exists
only in my head now
how foxes walked
softly on small feet
how parrots tipped forward & back
on wires holding grapevines
how doves paraded beside the pond
balanced on rocks, dipped their beaks to drink
how toads floated on loose limbs
at the pond rim
how as a kitten
my cat fell in the pond
how she must have clawed her way
up from the water
how I saw her — legs bent, belly dragging
back to the house
where I lifted her, wrapped her in towels
a shivering frightened small cat
the same one who arched her back, fur high 
swagger-hopped out to take the fox
before I grabbed her
rushed her into the house where she would be safe
I miss her more than the mountains
burning red at dawn
more than the llama-wool rugs
beneath my bare feet
more than my red plush chair


  1. I thought I left a comment already. You made me weep, and then weep a bit more thinking of my own losses. (Cinderfella, Duffy, and Tofu). It's crazy how they stay with you, seems like forever. Love the poem and the photo and I'm so sorry for your many losses, dear Peanut.

  2. Carol, this is unbelievably sad--but also beautiful.