The grey cat is dying on the couch,
Which I am starting to have a hard time
Watching, so I go outside
And in the cool dark, nestled
In the neighbor’s grass—
What’s in your mouth,
The dog found a baby bird,
Drop that,
And she does
And the pocket-sized
Grey-feathered body
Is still alive, only sort of,
Its beak opening noiselessly
As it looks up
And it takes a lot out of me
Not to make a lot of noise
With my open mouth
When I gently place it
Back on the lawn
And walk away, back
To my own animal dying.

Anne Pinkerton’s poetry and essays have appeared in The Sunlight Press, Hippocampus Magazine, Vita Brevis Anthology, River Teeth’s Beautiful Things, Modern Loss, and Stone Gathering, among others. Her memoir will be published by Vine Leaves Press in 2023.

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