The Chinese cat

The Chinese Cat

The Chinese cat is on the mantelpiece,
Cat on the mantelpieceits stone back softened with touch.
A souvenir or a totem
buried in a grave.

It holds the cat’s elusive comfort
scratching at the door
to find a soft stroked lap,
only to slip half seen
behind the angle of a wall.

These worn things will survive us
and comfort as we turn them over in our palm.
The rings in their boxes,
the much read book,
the cat on the mantelpiece.

But you are not within my reach.
Away, in your own place,
where I will never stroke
the blue vein of your forearm,
nor you
lightly touch my back.

Shortlisted and published by Norfolk Poetry Competition 2012