The saddest part is probably how close I came to smiling
when first I saw your text, before I actually read
the one-line obituary for your sweet old she-cat.
We used to groan when our parents would joke
that they only saw their friends at funerals.
Is it stranger that we once had a script for this kind of thing,
or that I notice that you’ve forgotten it?
i just thought you should know.
You came to a funeral with me, years ago, my first,
though you didn’t really know my grandfather.
The only familiar face in a crowd of blue elders,
you had me laughing in my black dress.
We had our own language back then, I swear
we had a script for this kind of thing.
Now, I don’t know if I can trust you
to read this as a condolence.
I came over for a sleepover, years ago, my first,
though I was afraid of cats and you had two.
Half-dreaming on your parents’ leather couch,
I woke in the night to find your sweet old she-cat
crouched on my ribs, purring, gold eyes floating in the dark.
I can’t help but think of that every time I love something new,
and I just thought you should know—
Not a day goes by where I don’t wish I’d said thank you
back when it still made sense.
Phoebe Cragon is a student pursuing a degree in English with a focus on creative writing at Centenary College of Louisiana, where she is Senior Literary Editor of Pandora Magazine.
image: MM Kaufman