Love on Four Legs

Today is National Cat Day

Elrond Love On 4 Legs
(for Elrond…2006 – 2014)

You were wise
from the beginning
you know.

Winning
hearts
happy laughs
spirits
of my children
before head-butting me.

(You were just a child, too.)

Claiming
(as you were meant to)
a permanent place
in our Place.

Slipping into
our family ecosystem
as if you were born for it.

You couldn’t have fit more clearly.

And, yet…
you expanded us.
Every heart
in our small family
pulsed bigger, wider, deeper
for love of you.

And you…
you wore your
“cat-ness”
well.

But I know,
I know
you were a master teacher
a furry Bodhisattva
love on four legs,

sent to remind us
that we are the same
in our own ways.

You mended
my heart
and broke it open
again.

One more lesson
as you left fur
and four legs
behind.

I know you’re there,
and here,
all at once.

And your presence
will always
make me smile.

But I miss
your sweet, soft, belly fur
and that impossibly tiny
“meow” when you’d waited
long enough for me to
realize you wanted
to go out.

And here I am
with the paradox
of a heart both broken
and mended,

of a life both
full and
achingly empty,

willing
so, so willing
to do it all again
because of you.

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Tracie Nichols writes poetry and facilitates group writing experiences from under the wide reach of two old Sycamore trees in southeastern Pennsylvania. She is the co-founder of the Embodied Writers writing group and a Transformative Language Artist helping women write themselves home. You can find Tracie on her website.

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