by JC Reilly
In the linden grove beside the stream
a soft-eyed girl in weeds bends down to see
a cat near death, his fur like cream
and chocolate, bleeding at the seam
between limbs and trunk. A frenzied rivalry
in the linden grove beside the stream?
She may have heard the mauling and the screams
that whipped the air beneath the trees
to leave a cat near death. His fur like cream
clots beneath her calming hand, but she redeems
a kitten’s soul with prayer. And then a breeze
levels through the linden grove: the stream
begins to shimmer like the shadows cast by steam,
and comes La Vierge, in diaphanous blue, to free
this cat from death. His purr, like cream
is sweet. The girl, relieved, bows her head in beams
that from Our Lady unlock as keys
(in the linden grove beside the stream)
the miracles and breath of cat, and girl, and dream.
JC Reilly writes across genres and has received Pushcart and Wigleaf nominations for her work. She serves as the Managing Editor of the Atlanta Review and has pieces published in the South Carolina Review, PoetrySouth, POEM, and the anthology, Nasty Women Poets, among others. When she isn’t writing, she plays tennis or works on improving her Italian. Follow her @aishatonu or read her (sometimes updated) blog, jcreilly.com.