“He Was a Hell of a Cat” by Kathlene Postma


Found in Willow Springs 69

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He Was a Hell of a Cat


It was a hell of a fish

throaty with a mouth wide

as a mason jar.


He was a hell of a cat

wailing with a tail twisted

and full as time.


You remember how it was

those last days in July

beside the milk pod field where


sandhill cranes walked against

the sun, filed across the grass

as if checking for landmines


while we fried the fish and tossed

the  cat  because he was young

like us and he knew


how  to  find his way

back. He slid low against

the scented thyme, a patch


of white fur that flickered

like moonlight on a

troubled lake. You said, One day


this will all be as if it never

were, you with me,

the cranes surging across


the field, their wildness in their throats,

the fish tender in our mouths,

and that cat arcing against the sky.


That cat we would take with us

for years, until yesterday when

we put him down, his tail dirty and limp,


mouth open and gasping. His

head in your hands, his feet in mine,

we held him for the needle.


I said, That summer we were

so in love. Then the cat went

still and you put your mouth to mine.

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