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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

All the Old Cat Ladies [Today's News Poem, Feb 2, 2010]

All the Old Cat Ladies

By Khakjaan Wessington

“When nurses once placed the cat on the bed of a patient they thought close to death, Oscar "charged out" and went to sit beside someone in another room. The cat's judgement was better than that of the nurses: the second patient died that evening, while the first lived for two more days.” 7:42PM GMT 01 Feb 2010

Amidst the tubes and wheeled beds
Is life. A tank of oxygen
Can anchor balloons—greens and reds,
A halo 'round the aged's pen.

With death on every side of us,
Inside us, bits we've dripped in stride
While edging near the terminus:
We fear to face the mortal slide.

She lived before, amongst the cats.
They tolerated human stench,
And oily garbage crowned with gnats,
Because she was their serving wench.

And now amongst the humans lives
A cat who serves—like them—the end
Of cages. Aging's worse than knives
They say: it wounds before it sends.

A school of dignified release
Where pupils watch with catlike eyes,
And sense when illness comes to cease
The woman with a house of flies.

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