You are dusty and greasy like an old mink stole
brown and stale, and dry at the seams:
Your leather cracked, your coat moth eaten
Hiding in the racks of some thrift store, you gently nudge me,
And I try you on, though weather beaten.
Stiff old paws cling to me as I drape you across my shoulder.
Fearful of falling, you nuzzle like a scarf.
Velvet ears crumple under my chin
As you hum in gravelly baritone.
Your quick blue eyes give you away. I know
That your soul is artfully escaping
That rounded Thanksgiving turkey body
Like a figure skater doing triple jumps
Every time you watch the birds.
Warm and rounded on the sill,
Even though I curl my arms around you,
I feel your heart leap wild and free
Graceful, sleek, and strong.
As I remember your rocking horse gait,
Young and buff, the woods your Paradise;
I know that some day you will again escape the door
And roll in diamond mica-laden driveway sand,
Sparkle like the snow, rub like willow-brush against my legs
Your purr like the soft wind through the trees.
As your life turns to Winter, my independent gentleman,
I tip my hat to you in respect and admiration
For always staying true to who you are.