We buried our oldest cat behind my parents’ house     by Julie Ramon

We picked a spot near the edge of the woods where the trees
 seemed to know something. The neighbor shooting—
 his bullets echoed in the valley—a steady heartbeat that faded
 with the leaves. Kids in the wagon, the oldest leaned over to see.
 Will he come back? –No. Will we see him again? –Maybe.
 When the shovel slowed, we took turns patting down the soil.
 Will you bury me? –No. He rubbed his hands and brought them
 to his mouth where breath became a steady pulse against the trees.
 No need for pockets where hands can meet. Everything cold can teach.

Julie Ramon is an English instructor at NEO A&M in Miami, Oklahoma. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Among writing, her interests include baking, sewing, traveling, and garage sales. She is also a co-organizer of a Joplin, Missouri poetry series, Downtown Poetry. She lives in Joplin with her husband, sons, and daughter.

December Editor, Pat Daneman’s recent poetry appears in Atlanta ReviewFreshwaterBryant Literary Review, and Typehouse. Her collection, After All (FutureCycle Press 2018), was first runner-up, 2019 Thorpe-Menn Award and finalist, Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award. She is author of a chapbook, Where the World Begins. For more, visit patdaneman.com.


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