the healing muse

Volume 10, 2010

Burying the Cat

B.A. St. Andrews

The cat died so dehydrated
it smelled fragrant as cut
straw. In her old Egyptian

shawl, she rolled all nine
thrilling lives rich as
potash in the loam, then

made the sad climb home to
comfort the children winding
around her legs like kittens

left behind. She found two
cards already written to
the cat (smeared with baby

tears and their best Crayola
black). They insisted that
she draw one, too. She’d seen

animal death a time or two
through adult, artistic eyes:
the luster off the feathers

of the pheasant with the floppy
neck, no bead of breath marring
the onyx bill of that rainbowed

bird. Painters in her circle
even have a word for it: life,
they called it, still-life.

From Learning From Renoir, Wells College Press, 2003

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 10, 2010.

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