From the Writer's Almanac: Mary Karr

in Poetry
A fitting consideration on Memorial Day

For a Dying Tomcat Who's Relinquished His Former Hissing and Predatory Nature

by Mary Karr



I remember the long orange carp you once scooped from the neighbor's pond, bounding beyond her swung broom, across summer lawns

to lay the fish on my stoop. Thanks for that. I'm not one to whom offerings often get made. You let me feel

how Christ might when I kneel, weeping in the dark over the usual maladies: love and its lack.

Only in tears do I speak directly to him and with such conviction. And only once you grew frail

did you finally slacken into me, dozing against my ribs like a child. You gave up the predatory flinch ...

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From "For a Dying Tomcat Who's Relinquished His Former Hissing and Predatory Nature" by Mary Karr, from Sinner's Welcome. © Harper Collins, 2006. (buy now)