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