Touch: The Journal of Healing




    by Catharine Clark-Sayles

The window brightens from black to gray, no clear

transition of night to day as rain drizzles down still,

even the birds seem to know there will be no break

and crowd the feeder, hunger-pushed to shove in,

scattering seed to the smaller sparrows who wait below

or perch in draggled balls of wet fluff on the sill.

On this side of the window the cat crouches

twitches the tip of his tail, makes a soft chirrup.

I have heard the same sound more loudly and deep

from the tiger at the zoo when the keeper appears

with his tray of bloody meat. This cat

is too well fed to need the tiny mouthfuls of flesh

twittering outside, but I thank the window for glass.

I could make the same sound as I think about the day,

hungry for my share: for a cup of hot tea and time to watch

the day and the bird and the cat. But the clock ticks on

and there are people drinking their own morning cups,

gathering their pains and worries, little lists of need

for me to explain, reassure, write the prescription for a pill

that will cure so many uncureable things.

Could I prescribe birds and seed and rain? Prescribe a cat

watching, restrained by a window of fragile glass?

Instead I fill the cat’s bowl, measure out a cupful of seed,

gather white coat and keys, open my door and begin.

© 2014  Catharine Clark-Sayles

Catharine Clark-Sayles lives in Northern California and practices geriatric medicine.  She has had two books of poetry published by Tebot Bach: One Breath (2008) and Lifeboat (2012), and she has had numerous poems published in medical anthologies and journals.  Recent publications include Spillway, Pirene’s Fountain, Locuspoint, The Healing Muse, The Midwestern Quarterly, and The Healing Art of Writing vol 1 and 2 (Tell Me).

Copyright © 2014

Touch: The Journal of Healing

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