It looks old, suddenly,
slack-skinned and veins raised –
the back of his hand
which rests on the sleek fur
of the sleeping cat.
She purrs, curled upon his legs,
the surety of youth runs in her veins,
blue eyes not clouded by cataracts;
while he sits in the silver, flickering light.
He will have to put her away
one day, and lose another friend;
grieve for her companionship
after her nine short lives disappear,
speeding past his reluctant years.
It is all so temporary, this life.
Grief, happiness, pain and delight
drift through our senses as
autumn mists mingling with
turning leaves on tall trees.
Folded carefully on military coffins
other colours reflect a different fall.
The old hand trembles in a last salute
and returns gently to rest with the cat;
feline peace calming an uneasy mind.