Dear Cat

Carol Lynn Grellas

Forgive me for dressing you in pain,

pink baby clothes, bonnets tied

and ribbons falling around your perfect

Whiskers. The way you’d lay

like a tiny child inside my arms,

was almost too bear— to love a creature

like that, to be young enough to not know

you’d die, one paw slipping in the middle

of a rainstorm. The coping of a swimming

pool curved just enough to leave your fall

uninterrupted, your silent meow under

the water of a black bottom pool, while

I was asleep in the house comforted by

the sound of water in patterned drops

from a sky full of rain. So much can happen

when you close your eyes. One minute

a beautiful being is pressed against

your breast, the next, only the hollow

of an imprint, where a body used to rest.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is currently enrolled in the Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing program. She is an eleven-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. In 2018 her book In the Making of Goodbyes was nominated for The CLMP Firecracker Award in Poetry, and her poem ""A Mall in California"" took 2nd place for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. In 2019 her chapbook An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award. Her latest collection of poems Alice in Ruby Slippers, has recently been featured  in Sundress Publication's, The Wardrobes Best Dressed. She has served as the Editor-in-Chief for the Orchards Poetry Journal and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Tule Review. Her work has been included in the Saratoga Authors Hall of Fame and according to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.