Come sit, Oh fat and Buddha-bellied cat
who thinks he’s kin to humankind. Reach up
and touch your paw against my face before
you climb into my lap. Turn once, then turn
again and find a place of joy. Stretch each
small claw - first sheathed and then unsheathed and knead
and purr and knead and kneed until your heart’s content.
We’ll sit together, you and I, and rock and reminisce
on lives once lived and loves once lost,
while safe within the fireplace, the dying embers die.
You’ll recollect an alley draped in dark,
and I, a house too cold and damp. Your mother’s
milk was all you knew - and I, those children,
soft and warm, small hands against my face.