Chris Kouwenhoven


The housecat's grave


I've changed my ways a little, I can no longer
roam with you in the evenings along the shore,
except in a kind of dream, and you, if you dream a little
you see me there.
So leave a while the paw marks on the front door,
Where I used to scratch to come in or go out,
and you'd soon answer, leave on the kitchen floor
the marks of my drinking pan.
I cannot lie by your fire all evening
On the warm stone, nor yet at the foot of your bed
no, all the night through,I lie alone.
But your kind thought has laid me less than 6 feet
outside your window, where firelight so often plays,
and where you sit to read, and, I fear, often grieving for me--
every night your lamplight lies on my place.
You, Man and Woman, live so long,
it is hard to think of you ever dying!
A little cat would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying
under the ground like me, your lives will appear
as good and joyful as mine. No, dears, that's too much hope...
you have not been as well cared for as I have been,
and never knew the passionate, undivided
fidelities I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many sided,
but to me you were true.
You were never Masters, but Friends. I was your Friend.
Deep love endures to the end and long past the end...
If this is my end, I am not lonely. I am not afraid.
I am still yours.

Author Unknown

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