Brindle by Ruth Moritz


A color the wind makes, rubbing dry leaf to stone.
I turn against the grain of the field and hues shift
the way a pelt would, beneath a hand, the way

his did the day I drove him beyond the limits
to bury his cat, his fingers smoothing over
and over the stilled fur in his lap, my shovel

rattling behind us, scuffing a silence neither moved
to break. There are moments like that when a person just
knows I will always remember this moment, and I have—

how he finally said, Here will do so I parked and
waited, watching the stuttering patterns his digging made,
plaiting glint to dark against the crosshatch of that hill.

Today, sadness riffles through its closet of grey.
Does this rectangle of grave remember its final geometry
of sky? Does the architecture of his bones recall

the pastiche of ochre and umber tincturing their strut?
His cat that day was a brindle—streaked, barred,
and banded. Today the shadows of his memory are too.

by Ruth Moritz

Editor’s Note: This poem’s imagery uses color to highlight emotion and memory, reminding the reader of how sorrow indelibly inscribes its pattern upon the heart.


4 responses to “Brindle by Ruth Moritz”

  1. cmclain13 Avatar

    This poem really touched me–My beautiful cat companion died last summer. The grief is still very much with me. Your poem reminded me of the bonds of joy and grief among all those who love our animals. Thanks for sharing this intimate experience.

    1. Ruth Moritz Avatar
      Ruth Moritz

      Thank you! Sometimes the universal writes itself.

  2. crsunde Avatar

    This poem is one full of imagery and feeling.

  3. Ruth Moritz Avatar
    Ruth Moritz

    Thank you–I am gratified you found it so.

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