What happened to the cat who used to visit our parties
his jangly bell a cup of dimes
the Santeria bones we’d find in the yard
those knuckled skulls of starlings glimmering with ants

this morning the backyard is almost manicured
the rottweiler loafs and woofs
at the faintest change in light
while some window kitten mews

Leon is nowhere along the fence
or on the angled roof of the patio
in fact it’s been years
and I suspect Leon is dead

because our neighbor no longer calls him
Leon!          every morning     
rambler cat ambling yard to yard

A pet

the best way to teach children how people die
the devastation quick and incremental
a dent          a noogie
as the first lesson should be

Poetry – Published in The Cortland Review, 2015

Link to publication