Curiosity and The Family Cat

by Fiona Clarke '23 on September 8, 2022
Portfolio Staff


a black cat
photo creds: pixabay

At home you and I make the coffee without caffeine,

For the heart murmurers who gather in another room,

While jostling predispositions in hallways wait their turns to be heard.

We save the coffee grounds and the broken eggshells

For the soil of the vines and bleeding-hearts and thyme

That make clear our hearts and lungs and fill our eyes

With loss-impossible oxygen.

And so, surreal and serious, I smoke no more, and speak much less,

And yet these days, I take comfort

When I hear the rain fall like knuckles cracking,

And I look up to a sky that has grit its teeth,

Prepared to rain its blows upon me,

But cracks a love-worn smile.

And all dear and delirious, we dare to lay it bare:

“O brother, where art thou bleeding from?”

“A horizontal smile and a vertical touch—”

“Son, my children are gathering precious stones and metals,

And getting blood and dirt on their hands—”

“Daughter, I am fool’s proof and wise man’s wonderings—”

Say that the house is half empty—your son has died.

Say that the house is half full—

Christ is going up to heaven.