Walking down memory lane (21/4/21)
I waited much too long before leaving the house.
Now it was already dark, and I still hadn’t taken my walk.
Walk a bit each day, easy walking, slow walking, but walk.
So now, as I leave the house to amble down my road
my cat follows me. She suddenly runs past me, stops short,
waits for me to catch up with her, and lets me pass.
It’s not until a minute later, that she comes bursting down beside me,
making bouncy squeaky sounds as she rushes by,
and again, stops in front of me and waits for me to walk by.
At some point she refuses to walk further,
arriving at a boundary that only she can see.
The further I walk past that line, where she is left standing,
the louder she calls out for me, insistent that I turn back.
So I do, and we repeat our pattern, where I walk ahead
and she comes bounding past – I wonder what she is yelling,
as she squeaks on by, the noises escaping as her feet hit the road.
Suddenly I see myself again, a small, young child
Walking with my father, occasionally hanging back
while he keeps on walking. And only when I start to feel
the panic rise in my chest, making me lightheaded,
I break into a run to catch up with him.
by Tamar Ascher Shai
Editor’s Note: This narrative poem’s skillful use of movement sneaks up on the reader, building a moment of love and memory that feels utterly familiar by the closing lines.