Not Yet

Not Yet

As you nestle into my pillow,

I smell the lotion

that one of the technicians

must have had on her hands

when she held you down

for x-rays this morning. I reach

to pet you, feel the knobs

of your spine, feel shoulderblades

jutting from you like scree, feel

the vet’s prognosis splintering

me, recalling the conversation

I tried to reason my way through

with all the right lines

about your quality of life

being more important

than invasive treatments,

about dying

being part of life, my voice

beginning to tremble

when emotion snuck up

and pushed reason out

of the way. And tonight

my hand shakes its way

across your brittle coat

while I revisit our agreement

that you will let me know

when it’s “time,” but tonight

you just nestle in further,

purring, stretching,

letting me know

it’s not yet.

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