Friday, March 25, 2011

In the Path of the Cat

This day was grey;
A thin layer of snow lay over the sidewalks and flagstones of the little city. 
I printed it as I walked along;
Feeling the slightly raw cold of the late Lenten winter.
Not many snows left in it, I suppose;
But rain, oh yes, there would be rain.
Looking down I saw that other feet, little feet had come this way. 
Critter feet, cat feet, planted carefully;
Back feet falling in the same prints as the front feet;
Darkly pressing through to the sidewalk, with no details showing. 
The snow was damp, and I imagine those little feet were wet;
Yet they wandered from side to side on the sidewalk, with curiosity;
Investigating a postal box on one side, peering down an alley on the other.
Until finally they started to be filled, more and more with snow.  
The snow must have been falling as the cat walked, and he, or she,
Had been walking in the opposite direction from the direction I was walking.
I wondered by how much we had missed each other,
Me going, and the cat coming;
Did the cat pause, and watch me as I set out?
Eyeing me as I adjusted my bag over my shoulder and zipped my coat?
Or was the cat well past, with only me aware of our passing;
Inches away from each other in space, but more distant in time?
The cat’s journey was certainly a series of moments lived for themselves;
Whiskers a-tingle, damp feet getting the occasional shake,
Eyeing a bird, pausing to let a car slide by….
But for me it was more contemplative.  
What was the cat doing where the prints moved just so? 
Was this near the beginning or the end of its journey?
Ah, look how it moved!   
Like with us, the cat’s life is lived forwards,
But can only be contemplated properly in reverse.

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