death of a cat

Written by: Lucrezia Blanche Aguilar

the season I turned eleven
was the season that I died
there'd been blood betrayal and famine
and I thought I had survived

my neighbor killed my kitten
and for that I could not cry
my mother went to handle it
told me to stay inside

i sat poised in an armchair
trying to calm my mother down
while I could feel nothing
we knew she'd made him drown

the woman was a laundress
washed other people's clothes
didn't like the stink of pig sties
it offended her frail nose

the wash-board on the right side
where the pigs did have their homes
was the one she always gave me
like the left one was her own.

only when a pig was hanging
would she demand to trade
i'd wash next to a hog's corpse
a choice could not be made.

then one day I got angry
and I dared to move her clothes
i moved them to the right side
as the rage inside me rose

the woman tapped my window
and said your cat is dead
it was two days before Christmas
she roused me from my bed

there was display of feeling
tears could not be be shed

gray fades to black
hello sadness my old friend


                                                     12/11/06