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  • Writer's pictureCeleste Boudreaux

The Stray Kitten

When I was a girl

     I found a stray kitten

Feral and frightened

     it ran and hid

          and would not come

               to my kitty-kitty calls

But my love was strong

     and my patience resolute


I set out fragrant food

     and sat a few yards away

          so still

               for so long

I watched the kitten peep

     from behind a tree

          her little nose sniffed the air

But she had been chased

     and terrified by big people before

So she stayed where it was safe

     and just looked with her large eyes

          despite the hunger gnawing her belly


Slowly, so slowly

     she stepped one foot

          in front of the other

               ready to bolt

                    at any sign

                         of danger

And still I stayed

     stable as a stump

till finally she reached the bowl

     and, eyes locked on me

          tasted the food


Every day we repeated this dance

     and I sat a little closer

until at last she let me stroke her

     and later still, to pick her up

          to name her

               to claim her

                    as my own


Now I realize

     I was the kitten

          neglected and bruised

     now as the girl

          with tender tenacity

               I refuse to give up


If perfect love

     casts out all fear

then this

     is how

          it happens



by Celeste Boudreaux, October 2020




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