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For My Son: Cat

by Ariane Scott

The core of the situation is this: He helped us.

I will carry for you
the throes and triumphs of that year;
the wretched and wonderful nature of both
too knotty to note for a child.

But Cat is for you to treasure;
the night we brought him home,
how he slept at your feet and leapt to your lap,
batted your toys around the room.
The collage on the wall holds the photos you took:
Cat stretched on the bed, napping.
Cat spread on the floor, slothing.
Cat coiled in the chair like a caterpillar, orange.
Cat at his dish, lapping.

(Cat in a box in the corner of the yard.
Cat in a heap on the shoulder of the road.)

Furry nexus of our altered life—
he helped us. When static
swirled about our heads and bedlam
threatened bearings, he gave to us

He prompted our poems, the titles for always,
always the titles were “Cat.”
Your school work inspired, your stories of Cat,
each Mother’s Day card referencing Cat:
Thank you Mom! For giving me Cat!

Cat in a box in the corner of the yard.
Cat in a heap on the shoulder of the road.
Cat in your lap on the papazan chair.
(Understanding moves backward.)

In the woods behind our house there’s a light shining bright,
shimmery orange like the color of Cat.
The light beams the trees and the trees grow their leaves,
the leaves on the branches which buoy the birds,
the birds in the sky how they fly through the light,
they sing as they fly as they soar through the light,
Cat in the light in the woods over there,
Cat in your eyes, in your hands, in your hair,
Cat in the light, in the night, in the noon.

Cat in the birds.
Cat in the moon.

Cat in you.


Author's Note: :*(

Posted on 05/28/2011
Copyright © 2021 Ariane Scott

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 05/28/11 at 02:54 PM

A very unique tribute to a cat, Cat. Quite moving, actually. Thank you.

Posted by Jim Benz on 05/28/11 at 04:43 PM

This is so beautifully written that it almost feels trite to comment on craft when the sorrow of its context is almost palpable. But I expect that from your writing and it's a genuine pleasure to see something new.

Posted by Kristine Briese on 05/29/11 at 05:58 PM

I am known as a crazy cat lady. This poem is so sad and poignant and beautiful. Lovely rhythms, as well.

Posted by Aaron Blair on 06/02/11 at 02:40 PM

This is really beautiful. Unexpectedly so. I clicked thinking it might be some funny cat story, good old lolcats, and was very pleasantly surprised. Thank you.

Posted by Aaron Blair on 06/02/11 at 02:44 PM

Also, I meant to add, this reads like a lullaby for an adult, or a poetic version of a children's story, which is a lovely touch. Kind of reminds me of "Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor.

Posted by Scott Utley on 06/07/11 at 12:41 AM

I feel centered after reading this - that's power - I'm grateful.

Posted by Mo Couts on 08/06/11 at 01:19 AM

This is wonderfully beautiful...I thought I was strictly a dog person, until my cats entered my life. Now I know that one doesn't have to pick one over the other, b/c cats and dogs are like apples and peaches for me, and they're both beautiful and favorites. Thanks for this lovely poem, Ariane!

Posted by Joan Serratelli on 08/15/11 at 05:08 PM

my daughter's cat also lives in a box. The amusing part is that the cat is HUGE! Very well done. I can tell how much you love your son!

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 08/16/11 at 05:50 PM

This poem does things to me.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 08/08/13 at 05:00 AM

So good to see this as POTD!

Posted by Paganini Jones on 08/08/13 at 10:02 PM

Don't know how I missed this but it is an exceptional poem - in your use of language, repetition, rhyme. An immediate favourite

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