Summoned shadow

beneath the bed rests absent friends
     long silenced his rubs against my legs
           alone my breath heals the scars
lie on the floor; my soul attends
     the shadow cat who no longer begs
           loving treats and rides in cars

and sounds of cereal boxes rent
     in kitchens drawn from times long past
           suffered hard and pierced my soul
dark form of his creeps, goes, and went
     whose wanders leap and play and cast
           without, within, no longer whole

this darkness in memories keep of mine
     yet seen in cats both here and there
           torn apart while robbed of spirit
emotion’s claws are deep and fine
     I fail to see they do not care
           I wonder why I do not hear it

for time or space lost in parts
     as this fulfills what dares don’t stand
           a final hour of love committed
this empty lap holds empty hearts
     beneath my smile it demands
           and with death is my mind committed

ears unscratched and fur unpetted
     by hands filled with lonely nests
           in time soon hence he will put on
marked by five lives unvetted
     and lo, the different countenance
           uncalloused, I hear his song

yet welcomed home by purr and patter
     he waits for me; I know this now
           forgiving my unyielding ways
held in time and space and matter
     expected times; I see him prowl
           and feel his fur upon my face

[for Henry]

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