Start with woodsmoke, the cat’s tail
brushes against your leg.
As you stroke the arched back,
the turning body, as you touch
what needs to be touched
the idea occurs to you:
this will last as long as you live.

Then the smoke lifts, the landscape
laid out plain as a painting,
sunlight filtered through fir trees,
oaks golden on the hill,
that smell after a rain, the last
days of Indian summer. And you know
as you stand in the shine of that light,
the cat purring and circling against you,
this is all there is, and it’s enough.

Ken Zimmerman 1988

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