NOTE TO SELF
Thomas the cat reclines by the fireplace
He’s cozy and soft and half-asleep
I am visiting and about to leave for work
(my parents’ home, warm, my dorm, so cold)
5:30 am, ready to go, out into the cold, to drive and drive
Thomas gets to stay by the fire
with the meditative animal knowledge that everything is fine.
In the firelight, he glows candle-warm
He does not worry about overdrawn bank accounts
pregnancy scares, college rejections, rent and groceries
(snap, crack, panic attack)
I’m watching him, in his small cat life
He has people to feed him and pet him all day
I ache, for a moment, to be a cat.
Thomas, little sphinx, safe in his domain
and I, in a world much larger than his
with a future sketched tenuously
(its jaws, clawing, drawing close)
I rest my face in his belly fur and wonder his wisdom.
He purrs. Soft, engine breath
And will not teach me his secrets.
Work is a vortex, so confusing
a sea of faces needing things from me
that I am not good enough to give.
(my head aches, shaking, too much caffeine)
Roller-coaster turns, life falls out of my pockets
Scrabbling for school, I’ll fail my finals
and when I’m back, the cat lifts his head. Hello.
At my parent’s house, I decide to start
to sit by the fire, every so often, to be
cozy and soft and half asleep
(an instance of distance from responsibilities)
Close my eyes and breathe the dry woodsmoke air
and try to be more like Thomas.
Resting, in the moment, in stillness.
Poem Type: freeverse