In memoriam, Zoe

Ian Reid

Cradling a creature as its last breath leaves 
its flimsy worn-out body
is something you never forget;

but more cheerful moments linger still
in the curious cabinet of memory,
and can help to soften regret:

on the windowsill close to my pillow
there will always remain faint
scratch-marks where paws used to land

soundlessly, before she’d step across
to tickle my face with mischievous 
whiskery kisses. My missing friend.

Ian Reid grew up in New Zealand and now lives in Perth. The most recent of his 15 books is a novel, The Madwoman’s Coat. His poetry and other work has been widely published in several countries, winning awards (e.g. the Antipodes prize) and being translated into five languages. 

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