Dead Ferret by Suzy Miller
White fur, not much blood, guts eking through the gaping wound
An eye that will not close on life that has already fled
His body curves in my daughter’s trembling arms, spooned,
No sound or breath or blink. The ferret is dead.
Only two weeks from the pet rescue, his musty stench still lingers like a spirit flowing
Why is there such a sense of loss for a creature we hardly knew?
It is as if the numbness, the aching, comes from a deeper knowing
That the being itself is not gone at all but formless, glistening on the edges of our minds like some etheric dew
How can we truly miss a body, a form
When each day lived ‘in the now’ we’d feel no pain to be apart for one hour, two, or three?
Pretended our loved ones gone were merely out to lunch, and not from our world cruelly torn?
Yet there lingers now that sense that they are with us still, within us. They will not let us free.
What if the lingering longing for them is not because they have gone away?
Yes we miss their smile, their laughter, their caress
But what if it is only when the outer form returns to clay
That it is then we sense they are in fact still here, so no need to feel bereft?
What if that hurt inside were in truth, simply a longing to be complete
A yearning for connection, a holy pact
If we are more than flesh, with souls that cannot simply self-delete
Then surely my sadness is just an awakening to a simple fact
When you and I lie without a breath
Others will feel our presence stronger than death