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A Passing Shadow

Behind our house, below the deck
with its pleasing benches and sylvan view,
the back yard we have descends steeply
to a little stream called Chimacum Creek.

It is September, so the Creek’s waters
are shallow, so shallow that
little music from its ripple and flow
rises to meet our eager, listening ears above.

Any day now, the waters will surrender
their serenity and in noisy salute
yield to thrashing thunder,
as salmon spawn and meet their demise.

Sheltering us there from summer’s heat
and winter’s chilled and rainy drench,
a little family of barred owls often call and beg,
their nocturne nearly undisturbed by our home's intrusion.

Outside, my wife stands in solitary contemplation,
for this is her temple, and she its worthy guest.
Yet the minutes and hours pass so slowly now,
as grief stands weary watch with her.

We had grown so accustomed to our dear child’s
heartened ways, as ever eager to greet us
at morning’s hesitant, uncertain dawning glow
as at evening’s surrender to curl upon our bed to sleep.

Jet black hair and soft green eyes—her special dance
each moment to delight us so, we had never ever
thought today would bring us only fading echoes of
all we held so dear in this sweet and tender form.

No matter that she had a tail and two more legs than us,
she lived and loved and spoke with such eloquence
and grace, the best of us were shamed.
Angels withheld not their envy and begged for her return.

So grieve with us a moment, for fled is now
that little feline snowflake in our hand.
My rhyme is vanished; my muse is stilled.
Shadow was her name.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 7/24/2018 5:44:00 PM
wow I love this, Mark. I think I will fave it!! A stunning tribute to Shadow.
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Mark Peterson
Date: 7/24/2018 10:44:00 PM
Thanks, Andrea. I treasure the pets I’ve had above most people I’ve known. Were any of us to possess such integrity, there would be no further need for, among other things, elections.
Date: 10/15/2017 1:30:00 PM
Such a moving and well executed poem for the love and fine memory of shadow. She certainly was in good hands and so very lucky until her last stay. Ty for sharing.
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Mark Peterson
Date: 10/15/2017 4:12:00 PM
Suzanne, thanks so much for your reflections on our dear little girl. One morning I noticed her twitching with a seizure under the couch, and by mid-afternoon she was gone. She and I had developed such a relationship towards the end, one that I had never enjoyed with a cat. May your days be filled with light and smiles.
Date: 9/28/2017 7:43:00 PM
A lovely poem to read on this peaceful September evening... I know the great loss you must feel as I have a cat of my own and she means so much to me as if she were my child... Your Shadow will always be near you, Mark :)
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Mark Peterson
Date: 9/29/2017 8:28:00 PM
How sweet of you to offer such kind sentiments about our departed child. Your support of my poetry is also greatly appreciated. My poetic output is rather meager of late, as is my support of others due to health issues. I hope I will be able to return to my former vitality soon.
Date: 7/3/2017 2:56:00 PM
You have immortalized your precious little Shadow with this heartfelt and beautiful tribute Mark. We had a kitty named Lily and then another named Tommy cat after she passed. Both hold such dear memories that I wrote a poem for them too. I still feel my bed move in the evening as their spirits jump up on my temprapedic bed. I welcome them and know they will greet me again one day as your Shadow will greet you. This is a Fave for me Mark. So sorry for your loss.
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Mark Peterson
Date: 8/31/2017 9:58:00 AM
Connie, illness and recovery from an accident have kept me from responding as I should. Nevertheless, your remarks are as a kindred spirit and thus deeply appreciated. The salvation of loss is the pets that replace departed ones whom we realize would never have made our acquaintance. And thus love and affection we thought fled are rekindled.
Date: 6/26/2017 3:50:00 PM
What a lovely, touching poem, Mark! The first stanzas come with a promise of beautiful visuals which appeal to our senses...sadly, the second part appeals to our emotions. Losing a special pet is something I can relate to...a void hard to fill. ~ Regards // paul
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Mark Peterson
Date: 8/31/2017 10:02:00 AM
Sorry to respond so lately, but illness and accident threw me off. I found your remarks to be so manifestly apropos and tender. Truly a gift to me that I'll preserve. I also have as new poem I hope you'll read.