My Shadow Sleeps Forever – Erik Shinker (Perpetually Past Due)

https://perpetuallypastdue.com/

Fur remains to mark
the common, cozy places of his rest.
Nuzzling, my constant companion of over
16 years seeks solace in my touch.
His nose nudges my hands as though
propelled by the vibration of his purring.
Matted, greasy fur from a lack of
self care covers him. He headbutts me in earnest,
as aggressive for affection as ever.

I have known him through all his years,
though 10 passed me by the time he arrived.
Precocious, inquisitive, and all the other
adjectives we bestow upon the young.
Following my footsteps, his padding paws
were ever-present.
He was vocal from the beginning:
baby “mews” that squeaked from little lungs;
hearty “arrs” and “ows” in adulthood;
and final, ornery, pitiful yowls for release.

Arthritis arrested his joints;
he wasted away as his appetite
disappeared and we discovered
bony hips once covered by powerful haunches.
His claws no longer retracted,
now creating a “ticktickticktick” when he prowled the
hardwood of our first floor.
Houses with too many stairs became his enemy;
he trudged from food to litter box until
he could no longer make the trip in time.

Some days sleep was his only escape,
though if he woke and saw my face,
purrs soon permeated the air. I could never be sure
whether his whiskers and twitching paws,
unsettled by snores,
signified dreams or nightmares.

But my shadow sleeps
forever; gone
from the pain of this world.
He leaves behind comforting memories;
an example of unconditional love and affection.
He lives on in dreams; warming himself in the sun,
surrounded by the smell of fresh-sliced ham,
cold water dripping from his whiskers, and
the chirping of birds to be
stalked in the tall grass.

by Erik Shinker

for more at ‘Perpetually Past Due’, click on over: https://perpetuallypastdue.com/

Published by grumpygorman

I am a Social Worker by day and an artist/writer by night. I use the written word in an attempt to make sense of the secret worlds and dysfunctional dynamics that lurk beneath the facades of our daily interactions. I am not sure how my writing styles are characterized, nor am I overly concerned about it. I am immensely enthusiastic about music and often connect better with songs than I do people. I also have an intense appreciation for quality wines and whiskies, frequently consuming them in excess. I like things that smell good and struggle to manage the symptoms of a life-long relationship with depression. So, why "grumpygorman"? Spend some time here and find out...

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