The death of a loved one
Author's note:this is poem dedicated to something that happened on the 1st June 2002. Our cat died that day. I loved her like a part of me, simply because we grew up together. I lost a childhood friend that day, and I grieve her loss so much. The person "you" refers to my brother who was the one to tell me about what had happened. She refers to that which we lost. Cherry Blossoms are symbolic of purity and innocence. I realise that this is long, but I had a lot that I wanted to say. I felt as if she was my daemon (anyone who has read His Dark Materials will understand the reference) I miss you my darling, my soul , and I hope to see you again.
She was the first thing I remember
From the days when I was just one.
The shocking black and whitish fur
Became my shining sun
I always used to love her,
Protect her from fellow cats.
We'd chase them off together
And laugh when that was that.
At 19 they said she was old
But I didn't believe a word.
She looked as beautiful as ever
Any anything else was unheard.
My siblings talked of funerals
For the cat that yet still lived.
I spent every second with her
To treasure what she'd give.
But that night I left her
Under the table asleep.
I had no reason to believe
That would be the last memory to keep.
Until that morning all was well
I had no reason to be upset;
But you were going to tell me
Of the secret they had kept.
I knew it from the way you were
With eyes so puffed and red.
In a trembling voice you asked me
If I had been told that she was dead.
My eyes flicked towards the table
where last night she had lain.
Why should I have had to think
That today wouldn't be the same?
"She's in the dining room"
was all that you could say.
Tears were falling down your cheeks
like mid April summer rain.
I didn't want to do it,
I didn't want to see,
I didn't want to see the love
that they had taken from me.
But I had no choice, I had to know.
It was some form of bravery I chose.
You supportably followed behind me
continuously wiping your nose.
But the room I entered all alone
And for that I was silently glad
For the sight that lay before me
Had made me temporarily mad
There she lay, as still as stone
With no drawing of living breath.
She didn't move, how could she
When claimed by the Black Death?
I wish that I could have gathered
Some strength from inside of me
But I could not stop my mournful voice
From betraying me.
"We should bury her" I said to you,
feeling nothing but despair.
I thought "It wasn't real, it wasn't right
To take the youth we shared"
I picked her up in trembling arms
Her body frozen and stiff.
And then we went outside
Towards the emotional cliff.
You see she was more than an animal,
At least she was to me.
She was the one who woke me up
She helped me eat my tea.
We always played together
We always fell apart
We always made back up
She was never meant to depart.
Everything had frozen,
But still I longed for her
I wanted just one more time
To hear her pleasured purr.
But she didn't make a single sound,
And she gazed at things unknown
And it was me that broke into tears
At the things that I'd been shown.
During my tears you'd waited
matching that which I could not hide
"A cross I will build her"
to give her a spiritual guide
A blossom tree outside my window
Was the place we chose.
To bury the motionless body
Under blessings of all that know
We played under there as children
What better place to put her down?
Where the happy little memories
Would protect her in the ground.
You put the cross in the earth,
Your hand bleeding from the wood
You dug the hole in front of it
As deep as your pain could.
But while you dug that tempered hole
For where her rest would be.
I swear against my breast
I could feel her breathe along with me.
But it was me that put her in the ground
But it was not flowers that I left:
I left a little piece and part of me
And hope that she was blessed.
And then she vanished under brown earth
Cherry blossoms showering from the tree above
And away close to the forest
Escaped a fading dove.
We stood and watched in silence,
My arms still lingering from the touch
Of that blessed animal
That I loved far too much.
And in the sun I could only hope
That she would find a way
And maybe-and I hope it so-
We'll meet again one day.
That is where we left her
The spirit that is free.
Just before my window
Underneath the cherry blossom tree.