The woods where I last saw my cat
are white today. The snow’s begun to thaw
upon the ground where he likely
met his end, by tooth and claw.
The woods where last we heard of him
are quiet now. There was a noise that night,
my wife said, she didn’t give it a thought;
no point, even, in turning on the light.
He’d triumphed over every mouse
that dared to winter in our house.
In spring he’d lay in wait to kill
chipmunks hid in walls of stone.
He’d chase wild turkeys up the hill
who bothered him, and him alone.
He’d lost a step or two or three
by the night he met his end;
too much leisure, too much food
will do a fighting cat no good.
The woods where last my cat was seen
are bare of leaves, the pines still green.
I think, as I lift snowshoes over stones,
Perhaps in spring I’ll find his bones.