by Molly Peacock
Peacock is Poet-in-Residence at the Cathedral of
St. John the Divine, is the author of Cornucopia:
New & Selected Poems, published by W.W. Norton,
and Company and by Penguin Canada. Among her other works
To Read A Poem & Start A Poetry Circle (Riverhead
Penguin Putnam / McClelland & Stewart),and a memoir,
Paradise Piece By Piece (Riverhead Penguin Putnam /
McClelland & Stewart). She is the editor of The
Private I: Privacy in a Public World (Graywolf)and the
co-editor of Poetry in Motion: One Hundred Poems from
the Subways and Buses (W.W. Norton), and is a Board
member of this Society.
News: Molly Peacock will read and speak at the 2010 Veterinary Medicine and Literature Symposium, May 10 and 11. For information, visit the OVC Conference website.
poems here were published in the The Black Warrior Review
chapbook series and are reprinted with the author's
Fellini the cat died, he hissed
at the vet who shaved his paw for the prick
of the euthanasia needle she'd stick
into a vein while we held him. Then she kissed
his dead nose as we touched him. His spirit
hadn't really had a chance to leave yet,
his green eyes wide open, not all shut
in pain as they were the last week - time to do it,
we knew. That last orange hiss let his tabby life
escape into its catness. Would we like
a souvenir of his fur? she asked. Oh yes,
we said, and a moment later she'd sheared
two swaths off the wild field of his thin side,
a shock only a blanket up to his neck could redress.
from the vet, she sniffed the usual
corners, knew instantly the male was gone
and began to purr so loudly the dull
interpretation of purring as con-
tentment proved bleak and wrong: this was keening.
There had been four of us for so long - male
and female humans, and cats female and male.
She put her head beneath my hand, leaning
all her weight into it, and when I let
go finally, she followed me to the
bathroom, climbed on my lap on the toilet,
followed me to the bed, to the sink, the
closet where she flopped her fifteen years' weight
down in the dark, and prepared to wait.