If I want to write a poem
What do I say?
How do I fit the entirety of all this life stuff
I lost a cat last week.
I lost a cat five years ago and 6 years ago and 8 years ago.
I lost a cat 21 years ago.
I saved a cat once.
From a plastic bag on the edge of the lake I grew up on.
From the ravaged and burned hills of a shattered neighborhood.
From a life in a shelter.
From a tree.
From a dog.
I saved a dog once.
It was old and it was winter and my uncle was driving his boat to show me the cold Virginia lake.
We saw commotion and steered near. As we got close the old boy gave up and went down.
I had to stretch and reach to my greatest extent.
Shoulder and face in the water
And I grabbed him just before he sunk out of reach
By the scruff of the neck
And pulled him onto the boat.
I would have dove in for him.
I lost my Mom eleven years ago.
Oscar Wilde would call me careless.
Those kinds of losses never really end, but they do fade a little in the dailiness of it all.
I lost my step dad before he saw me make good.
I lost my dad when I was a ratty teen and didn’t notice till I was nearly 50.
I lost a dream.
The first was devastating, the second, liberating.
Losses are love.