Ritual’s Slow End



As he has each morning,

Treebeard, the orange tabby,

Leads me down the stairs

For a first cup of coffee.


Today he shows his age

As he descends the stairs—

Something off in each soft pad’s

Touch upon each familiar step.


He stops at the end, and meows

To be let out into the dark.

I slide the door open; he sniffs

The cold air, then slips away.


I watch him move through the flowers;

I shiver, not knowing what to do next.



(January 5, 2018)

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