The Newcomer

Moira Kirkwood

It’s a poem about a little cat. You can’t 
wedge in themes of grief or loss: where 
could they possibly lodge?

She’s oozing through the doorway’s 
crack; scaling the shelf. Each flower
of a foot is picked, picked, up and over
the precious things. 

The rise and fall of your ribcage and hers. 
She purrs so hard the bones turn to honey, 
flowing into the fit of your arm’s crook.

The newcomer: Our dear puss died at the end of a long and happy life. We grieved her passing but eventually found the strength to look for another companion. The new little one is, of course, a totally different person. She could never replace our beloved elder, whose spirit is still around. That ghost occasionally finds it within herself to snigger at the antics of the incumbent.

Moira Kirkwood has written creatively all her life, but things started to take shape when she joined the South Coast Writers Centre several years ago. Her life is a strenuous and mostly unsuccessful attempt at balancing the demands of both writing and painting. Neither practice takes kindly to being neglected and really makes you pay, once you return with your tail between your legs. 

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