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When a boy, my Dad dropped a wriggling

box of kitten into a swamp by

 

the Kanawha River as he had been bidden. Fifty

years later, I killed a mother

 

with my car, her kittens left in a warm

globe by the road.

 

Later still, my father read aloud for

my two pumas–

 

Charlie Et La Chocolaterie

soothing them with the language

 

of a gentle voice. One boy likes his belly

rubbed, his hot armpits airing

 

along his ears, the pin-cushion paw pads drawing

and releasing. His brother sleeps

 

in a cardboard box on the piano,

dreaming rumbling dreams.

 

 

 

Eliza Callard lives with her family in her hometown of Philadelphia. She enjoys hiking and reading, and her website is elizacallard.com.

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