29 April 2017

Second Verse for Bill

Completion is hard.
In a story or a poem, everyone starts with the understanding that
This is just a piece. A thought. A snapshot.
In a novel they expect an ending.
When you are writing a novel you have to decide
Where to stop. Though there is no ending really. The story
Always goes on. Even after every one of your characters dies,
Someone or something else

After the show but before the babies
And long before we knew we could die
suddenly or otherwise,
you kissed me for the second time
under the streetlight by your apartment.
When you pulled away, you were smiling that gap toothed smile
that you never did get fixed.
We would always recognize you, you knew
by the space between your teeth.

Before long and longing and long before social media
could tell me you were gone
there was a streetlight and me on my bike.
Beer happy and twenty-five.
Facing home.
You OK? you asked and meant it.
Oh, don't worry about me. It's downhill from here.
I'll just point
and coast.

19 April 2017

A Life With Cats


Nabokov, Fluffy & Wendel, Pippin, Breaugh, Francois & Malcolm, Alice. Lucy & Molly, Sid & Oscar. These are the cats with whom I and my family have shared our homes and hearts during my adult life. I'm not even counting various roommate cats.

We lost Oscar to cancer 2 weeks ago. My daughter's childhood boy Francois, aged sixteen, passed 2 weeks before that. That was a hard one, not unlike a chapter ending. So, in the following days, I find myself remembering all the cats I have known and loved. 

Sleek Nabokov was the first. I watched him and his siblings being born on my roommates' sofa. His mother Alvin, (yes they thought she was a boy and didn't get her fixed) was a teenage mom. Nabby was all black among a litter of orange and tortie and I adopted him on the spot. At my and my ex-husband's first apartment, long haired marmalade Fluffy was the cat next door. He liked us the best and was always visiting until, finally, the neighbour just gave him to us. He remained loyal and we had him until he was seventeen. His friend and my spirit cat, Wendell - black and white, dumb as a brick and sweet as pie - was the boy of The Daughter's infancy. She could pull his tail, sit on him even. He didn't care. He followed her everywhere until she was three and he was four. Then an unexpected illness took him.

Francois and Malcolm
Malcolm and Alice still live with my ex but they are getting old. The Daughter, bless her, has her first own cat now, a troublesome fat black boy named Rupert. And so it continues.

They break your heart each time. They infect you with their sass and shenanigans. They sit purring with you when you're blue. They weave themselves into your personal history. Inevitably, they age, get sick, and pass on. I've been through it over and over and it never gets easier to say goodbye.

Beautiful Molly. She always looked somewhat surprised.
When my partner and I met 3 years ago, we had four cats between us - my calico girls and his Bengal boys. We worried about how we might ever be able to move in together with all those felines. Then last year, beloved Molly got heart disease and passed away before we had to make that decision. Damn I miss that girl. She was a gentle, simple creature.

So he and I are down to two. Ironically, Sid and Lucy can't stand each other but they seem to have worked out how to stay out of each other's way. My partner and I both swear these are the last. There comes a point when you feel you just can't do it anymore. I say this now, when I'm sad and missing them all, but who knows? Down the road, some new little kitty may pop up needing a home and we just may not be able to say no.

Sid. Happy.

04 April 2017

Stitch Definition

It was a rainy Saturday and I found myself early for work. So I took out my knitting and tried to photograph it. On top of the usual trouble of getting red right, the overcast sky made for even more of a challenge. This is the best shot I could manage. 
Even with the poor photography, you can see the amazing stitch definition of this Biscotte & Cie Felix. The skein had been in my stash forever and I am so glad I finally cast it on. I am loving working with it.

Rainy Roy Thompson Hall