Marys Cat: for Lucien

he came
like clockwork
every day at four,
those leonine paws
in imperious trot,
as if some inner alarm
roused him from his world
of couch and window
and hunting in the attic,
hurrying him to my lap
to greet the first Hail Mary
and settle in, the heft of him
warming my knees,
and in the mix of prayer and purr,
we meandered through the mysteries,
the beads disappearing into his fur
like ripe plums dropping into grass


when he died,
I carried him to the rocker
for one last go-round,
one last rosary
before the angel came—
the Glorious, of course,
resurrection being apt—
I anointed him with my tears,
blessed the small wrinkled ears,
the velvet paws growing cold,
the once triumphant plume of tail
now a ratty flag,
limp in surrender

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now,
every day at four
when I journey the beads
alone,
in mind’s eye, I see him
leap into the lap
of answered prayer,
Mary caressing
the tawny length of him,
as, in full throttle purr,
he kneads her robe
to his ecstatic
satisfaction

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