When The Calico Cat Sings

By: Bekah Turney

Vibrant orange, white and brown fluff
Stream through,
like strolling in grass,
Tall blades between open spaces of my young fingers
In an unruly meadow,
As I stroke your fur.
Blanket I’ve placed
On the lawn that extends for days,
But reminds me of you.
Peculiar gender.
Balls cut from your backside,
Vitality and independence singing
Out of your yellow eyes,
And comfort of a longing hand
To stroke your love hungry back
Amongst a confused-ridden home.
Short lived in the moving truck
Where we always moved,
Always having to go.
And your fate was hard to remember,
Moving places,
As things always were, left tossed,
to and fro.

I never knew what kind of mother I’d be.
But it sings through my bones
Naturally like the wind-
Inevitable, with a beautiful tune,
Another child brewing in the womb,
We must expand into greater
Depths of walls, and halls,
To walk and tip-toe,
And scamper down into the kitchen for
Morning oatmeal and
Spice burning from a candle wick for
Annual occasions I wish, from memory,
To uphold.
Like the dinosaur I surprised her with,
Hiding in a closet,
Long halls to rooms filled with dark.
She, 3, and I felt,
Within my heart, grand spontaneity,
To liven up a troubled mind,
From woes of broken glasses
of mason jars left from passer-by’s,
And a crying song out the window
Of a destined plot of a
Calicos woes.
It, and we, never asking to be placed in the hands
Of shattered glass
And a broken home.

I scoop its eager body into my arms,
And it rides
happily in the car seat, curled in a ball,
On our way home with me
to nest the children.
Nearly us 3.
Her hair curls, still.
I hold the comb, running through wet hair
That grows long within days.
Brick and narrow walls now.
“When will I go to school like Sissy?”
She asks me
As I put them both down for rest.
Flees jump on the carpet by their beds,
And the room grows darker.
My voice cannot escape to answer
From a distracted and over-worked mind.
I gaze,
And the lamp hilted on the shelf
blinds me with its singular,
Ominous fire,
Like it was meant to reach out and tell me
What to say.
I open the back door now,
Quick sweep of debris and loose fur.
‘Another day served.’
I think to myself.
And what is it all for?
Feral colorful fur brushes the hem of my pants
With a swollen belly,
And I light the tip
Of my cigarette
With an unsatisfied mind,
And sheets of color
Pool into a reality that is blind.

Smoke billows
And cigarettes haven’t lost their ends,
Sent back into the mother’s den.
You both are in school now,
adding numbers for the latter
And cutting through play-doh
for the younger of the two.
Years stretch as swiftly
As the breaking dawn.
We wake and we eat, on repeat.
And days sing, even if unheard.
Years climb,
Atop a mountain and, you, my youngest,
Are now five.
We bring the scented candles back
To lighten old traditions.
Cobwebs with fake and actual spiders,
And a new sense of family.
And while you’re away,
Yet another calico cat rings,
In the trees.
Young in its prime.
And I am ready,
As I have been made to be.
Because with every cat with its colorful fur
That crosses so coincidentally,
Is another song to sing.
A new beginning.

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