MAUREEN THINKS ABOUT HER DAUGHTER, LAURA
I bend over to change the gravelly litter
of the rabbit-headed cat that’s owned by my
daughter, and is my daughter, and is her bitter
view that she’s both hunter’s teeth and hunted’s bones.
I see the rabbit-headed cat claw its face.
It cannot eat all that’s snared in its paws.
Rabbit teeth cannot chew its flesh to meat.
Its cheeks. Bloody chunks. Why? Because. Just because.
I doubt my love could do any good, since
stroking soft bunny-kitten fur will not
change my daughter. My affection cannot convince
her to undo her predatory knot.
Laura, like predator or prey, stays unseen,
but the litter she leaves is pretty clean.
OWNING HER DEATH
On either side of my mother’s flatlined
monitor, two doctors were conferring
when her portable MRI whined
that her last neuron winked out. Preferring
her to be dead to the dying that took too long,
I felt stuck between relief and a shrug.
During her doctor’s condolence song,
I wondered, if when we pulled out her last plug,
was there a ritual of disconnection,
celebrating the blankness of her screen?
Having no belief in heaven or resurrection,
I was glad she could click, click her morphine
dispenser, while I spent days at her side.
She joked, “My next drug will be formaldehyde.”
Marc Tretin is a retired lawyer who spends his days writing poetry when he is not walking his rambunctious cockapoo puppy. His book PINK MATTRESS is available on Amazon. He is currently studying at Spalding University for an MFA in poetry.
–Art by Chelsea Sturgill