Sentience, Loyalty and Love

Through this pane across a fresh cut lawn
nine arborvitae green in morning sun
stand brilliant as everything begins again
MittensThere I see the hole that yesterday I’d dug
before the fifth, dead center of that dewy group,
under a cut slab of schist with a broken end
which marks the spot our cat now lies
after her life of unaffected giving
in which she marked our stuffed couch
with a memory of her weight
(still there this morning)
leaving a patina of soft fur in that trough
leaving evidence of her unique gravity
leaving me marked with a sense
that sentience, loyalty and love
are not just ours, as I never really understood
until she spoke to me one day
when I asked in my tongue how she was
and in her own, staring, she mewed
that life with us was good
and I returned as well
that ours with her was
equally as swell

Jim Culleny