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Old Nefertiti

By John I. Blair

I took you to the vet again this morning,
This time for a wound I made myself,
Clumsily trying to trim your matted fur.
As usual you were patient beyond belief,
Purring softly as the doctor probed your sore,
Tested your temperature and weighed you
(Seven pounds four ounces . . . less than last time).
Seventeen years youíve lived with us,
Starting as a lively acrobat
Who conned us to adopting you one Spring
By constantly climbing on our window screen
And staring us into sympathy with your plight
(Hungry and cold and homeless as you were).
And though you have occasionally seemed
To regret your giving freedom up for comfort,
You never have been hungry, cold or homeless
Since that day.
I canít remember when we didnít know you,
But now I face the inevitable end
When weíll no longer have you with us,
Begging kitchen scraps
And tripping us in the hallway late at night
(Where youíre waiting for your breakfast to arrive,
As it always does).
And I know that even when youíre gone,
For years Iíll always look behind me
Before stepping back,
Thinking deep down in my memory
That youíll still be there, waiting, purring,
Trusting that thereís tuna to be shared.

© 2002 John I. Blair  

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