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A   Letter  TGinny  OHer  Marriage 
by Michael T. Martin


(While serving in the Vietnam War I received a Dear John from a lover saying she was getting married. I sent her a wedding present and included this poem)

Once long ago a kitten came to my door
From somewhere outside mewing a soft moan
And I fed it scraps in a bowl on the floor
For kittens have a certain charm of their own.

He'd come now and then to brighten my day
Bouncing frail and funny like a kitten can be
But then he grew up and I'd scat him away
A cat I'd not wanted as a burden on me.

He'd always look back from his quick run escape
And meander on off in that silent cat way
I'd go back to my work, wonder not his fate
But he'd always return the very next day

Then once after giving him a particularly good whack
He came in that evening to the middle of the house
And dropped from his jaws, stepping timidly back,
The crimson stained, gaping mouth corpse of a mouse.

Seeing the dead rodent I was instantly miffed,
Repulsed by the dirty brown stiff little form
Not cognizant then of it being a gift
I chased the non-kitten away in a storm.

But I understand now that I'm put in his place
Being transformed from kitten to tomcat one day
And I wear his bewildered look on my face
As I offer this gift in the same timid way.

 

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