A Dead-Cat Catechism

One story from the long stung

days when I was barely there

myself was my cat had litter

after litter of sick kittens under

my six-year-old daughter's

bed, most of which I'd find

splayed, stiff, in the mornings.

I stacked them in paper bags,

planted them in sorry batches,

lettuce refusing to leaf. One

Sunday I stepped outside

with a bag and a shovel as

a four-door sedan stuffed with

missionaries drove down our

dirt road. The well-dressed

woman who got out said

truth was in the tract she

handed me. But the minute

I touched it she said, That

will cost you a dollar, and I

didn’t have one, so what

could I do? I sent her salvation

away with her, but in my head

I handed her the bag instead,

filled with shareable facts

such as the grass grows

paler over the kitten patch.

Such as not everyone who

talks the talk undoes the dark.

Such as if Jesus shows up

to save whoever lasts, I

hope his jeep has an

ejector seat, just in case.

Originally published in Rat’s Ass Review.

Laurinda Lind lives in New York’s North Country. Some publications/ acceptances are in Blue Earth ReviewComstock ReviewNew American WritingPaterson Literary Review, and Spillway. She is a Keats-Shelley Prize winner and a finalist in six other recent contests.