03 October 2017

Our Eyes Hold Thanks

(Morris and Champy "really love each other."  J. Boyle at Bored Panda)

Our Eyes Hold Thanks


We don’t worry about the animals
who have stewards so much as those who don’t.

I’ve brought orphan kittens home to clean up
and feed, trying hard not to fall in love.

Stuffing, a calico puffball, grew old
downstairs, purring into her steward’s ears.

The human Stuffing cared for needed warmth,
companionship and reminders to pause.

Blackie, a horse I knew, found friendly pasture
where a horse mate kissed and nuzzled her.

They stewarded the humans who brought them 
apples and straw and sugar cubes and smiles.


Mom’s cat Mimi is horrified that I
sit near her evening spot on the couch back.

She glares wild-eyed at me, then Mom, then me,
until I offer to trade seats with Mom.

Mom comes to sit near me, and Mimi leaps
bravely between us to her cushioned perch.

She won’t blink in response to me, but stares
as if in shock that I dared displace her.

Bad enough that I have Mom’s attention,
but the couch, too?  What was I thinking?


Carcasses dot two-hundred miles of road
between their house and mine.  Road kill, it’s called.

Crushed deer and skunk, squirrels and cats confront
me, shake me up, resound against my eyes.

There is not a human among them. Have 
traffic agents lifted human remains?


Rescue kitties, twin girls, stay behind when
I travel.  I worry that they'll forget me.

They worry that I'll forget them, but I 
don't and they don't.  We forgive each other.

I hope they don't prefer the cat sitter.
They sniff me thoroughly, reading the news.

I've been with someone else, so they'll postpone
their certain welcome.  They make me wait a bit.


We hug us, we're animals together.
We hold us close, grateful to be alive

Soft light and warmth diffuses our wonder
at finding safety here within our house.

We may never leave home again—unless
earthquakes and floods and fire threaten, beckon.

Then we’ll traverse the path with care, offer
a hand to animal friends and strangers.



For my prompt at Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Animals
(Beginning Wednesday at 6 AM Central Time)

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2017 Susan L. Chast


Thotpurge said...

That verse on roadkill hit home.. powerful!

Sumana Roy said...

Mimi has made an entry into my heart...so is the roadkill....

Gillena Cox said...

"She won’t blink in response to me, but stares
as if in shock that I dared displace her.

Bad enough that I have Mom’s attention,
but the couch, too? What was I thinking?"

This made me smile

much love...

rallentanda said...

Animals are beautiful and you have evoked those feelings of love so well .Mimi is gorgeous and please in future do not deign to take her seat by the fire or talk too loudly in her presence.Honestly the way some humans behave....

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I cant tell you how much I love this poem. The road kills are so distressing. But the love, comfort and safety of you and your cats in your peaceful rooms is wonderful. I worry about the animals who have stewards too, as so many of them dont understand that animals are feeling sentient beings. I loved all of the animals in this loving poem. Sigh. A treasure of a poem, a blessing to read.

Unknown said...

its much nicer when we are friends. Even if we have to admire them from a distance.

Nicholas said...

Stanza 2 got me laughing. I once had a cat named Mew who was exactly that! Love your poem here!

Myrna R. said...

I like how you notice when you offend your Mom's cat. In a way animals have a range that expresses all human feelings - love, aggression, submission, etc. I so much enjoyed reading each stanza.

Marja said...

"Soft light and warmth diffuses our wonder" beautiful and what a wonderful picture of the animals you painted. Except for the roadkill of course

Wendy Bourke said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful poetic retrospective on some of the animals that have touched your life, Susan. Imbued with a little bit of funny and a little bit of sad ... so like the gamut of feelings, animals stir in us throughout our days.

tonispencer said...

This made me smile through tears. So full of love, light, warmth...and the poor sad roadkill...nobody stopped for them.

Carrie Van Horn said...

You have a loving and beautiful soul Susan...that is reflected here in this beautiful heartfelt poem. I love that picture it is awesome!!

kaykuala said...

She won’t blink in response to me, but stares
as if in shock that I dared displace her.

There is that feeling of threat and envy in animals which cannot be fathomed. Clearly shown in dogs barking at others in protecting its master!. Rightly so


Mary said...

Oh, Susan, I so love this poem! Each stanza of it. I smiled about Mimi's attitude when you DARED to sit near her evening spot on the couch back & the way she GLARED. I have experienced such cat glares in my life, and you have captured the scene perfectly. Road kill - so sad...they shake me up too. And, ha, the kitties did not forget you...I am always relieved when I come home & the dogs still wag their tails to greet me, having forgiven me being away. The last stanza is breath-taking. "We hug us, we're animals together." Yes, indeed we are. Blood runs through us all!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

'we're animals together.' Yes! I love every bit of this.