It can happen so fast
here one minute
and gone the next
as they say
in some cliché.
It made me think
who is next
can’t we get a break
from death’s slight of hand
hiding in the corner
always awaiting the next.
Life is just not fair.
Yes I know
in their 90s and 80s
and 70s and 60s.
should I get so close
depend on them so
but what does it matter
people leave in their 40s and 50s
30s and 20s,
even little babies are not spared.
It seems to me
I am always saying farewell
to this one or that one
before it is time
and way too close to the last one.
It’s a part of life
God helps us through
opens ours hearts
to allow for remembrances
the bitterness to lessen
and for the good to outlast the pain.
Some people you always miss
leave you with a hole
that is never quite replaced by another.
Some you say in passing
oh, remember that good time we had
knew them but a little
their absence a slight hollowness
that doesn’t linger for too long.
Each time it happens
it always makes you think
selfishly about those you hold dear
and as silly as it sounds
what upset me the most
is the reality that my best friend will never always be.
When it happened
and I felt a shock all over
like the wind was knocked out,
I turned to look at my aging cat
the one whose death I always dread the most
and inappropriately wonder how long does she really have.
Yes, she is just a cat
but the one I depend on the most
to greet me when I come home
cheer me up when I am sad
lie down with me when I am sick
and play when we are happy.
always says to myself
no one lives forever
she is only a cat
I will be able to let go.
But in honesty
old will never be old enough
the time will never be as long as I needed
it will always be too soon
and the sun will never seem to shine
as bright as it once did.
As she stares at me so intensely
and follows me from room to room,
I cry tears for another friend who’s gone.
She slowly climbs on the bed
using the steps she long resisted
as her aging bones allow her to jump no more
and silently moves to lie next to me
pats my nose ever so gently with her paw
and stays with me.
Through my sadness I think
I will never be ready
and thank God I didn’t have to be today.
More by this Author
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I have only worked in New Orleans for 18 years, so not a native. Just a poem on my impression of how the City is run.