A neighbourhood cat
(the stray one we couldn’t place?)
did some of its dying on our doorstep.
We came back from a trip and it had left
some of all the things which come out of a cat
right there on our doormat:
The red and the beige
and the brown and the yellow
and the black.
Then it had moved on
to another house
to die and leave some more.
The downstairs neighbours had put out
to ward off the cat.
(I saw when I went to borrow
their high-pressure cleaner
to clean up the mess.)
She looked so tired when she answered the door:
This was the fifth week of looking after
her ninety-four-year-old dad.
We sometimes hear him
when the pain becomes too much
and he lets go embarrassed high-pitched moans.
“I wish he could let go,” she said.