Stray Cat

Why did you come to me, stray cat,
Nameless cat, hungry cat?
What forces of Nature brought you to
My doorstep, compelling me to choose?
To open my heart and my home to
Your needs?
What do you offer in return to a
Man alone in the Woods, alone for
Years without care or caring?

Touching with hand or heart does
Not happen on first encounter.
Trust is the key to the universe of
Possibilities; trust and openness --
Which comes first?

You feed on my offerings,
I bring them inside,
You hesitate...
I am in no hurry.

Trust; openness; soft, tender words
And sounds,
Meant to bring you near, without
Strings or motives of ulterior design,

To share alonenesses, to put a
Circle around ourselves,
To find refuge in belonging, refuge from
The storm of confusion and empty, cold

I put a collar round your neck,
Much joy and celebration,
You take your post with pride and purpose,
You bring me food, contributions
To the coffer.

Trust grows in spaces so clean of all
Debris and excess that time truly ceases,
No before, no after; no beginning, no end;
No outside, no inside;
Only you, only me,
Choosing to care.

You judge me not,
My bad habits,
Drunk or sober,
Sad or angry.

We share a sadness,
I see it in you,
I see you remember
Another time and place,
Another human.

We share an anger,
I see it in you,
I see you remember
Other times and places,
Other humans.

We will learn to play again,
Life is not only survival.

Stray cat, you have a name?
Tell me;
Do not fear, it will not capture
You and hold you down,
I would not want that,
Your strength, your beauty,
Your survival would be compromised,
I would not want that.

But I must have a name,
So you no longer be -- Stray Cat.

I wait and wait,
Some day you will let me know.

Then that night comes,
Me in my car, you sitting
On the window sill;
Beyond, through the trees,
I glimpse the full moon.

Your long, ivory white fur,
Ink black patch on head and black
Of tail absorb, reflect the moonlight,
And there it is,
Your name;
In the still, perfect silence of the moonlit woods,
We touch across the gap.

I speak your name for the first time
-- Dominoe.

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