This Was More Than a Month Ago and There is Still a Can of Kitten Formula in the Fridge

Life is too hard for you to not love me,
and then there were the kittens:

as big as bars of soap,
kept in tupperware on the bed of a truck.
“They were going to feed them to the dog!”
And so we were anxious, accidental parents
to four soft infants
who couldn’t even pee on their own.

Every hour was eyedroppers of milk into
mewling, mashed-strawberry mouths.

The vet said “sometimes they just die,
could be anything, a virus,
lack of mother’s milk”
even if we do everything right.

That didn’t make it easier.

One by one they went limp in my hands,
little tongues spilling out of their mouths,
heartbeats vanishing under my fingertips
just after four days.

You held me.
us proud parents saying goodbye best we could
sleepless and reeking of them.

All I wanted to hear was that you loved me.

About jake.forrest

Poet. Songwriter. Etc. View all posts by jake.forrest

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