For our kitty Mimi
It is afternoon. Dark early, I think,
Splatters on pavers, and geraniums
gratefully receiving raindrops
on their purple petals. Kumquats glisten
in orange skins, and guavas in green,
washed clean for the squirrels.
Then it happens: that strange yellow gleam,
rainbow light just after the rain. And there she is
Rainbow in her glorious stripes of indigo and red,
arching her back above The Santa Monica
Mountains, over the neighbor’s house, finally,
meeting my eyes, she blesses this house
with her presence.
She spreads herself magnificently,
bursting, now fading, fainter
and fainter so quickly. Souls rise
to her arch, Souls rise all over the Earth,
like heat misting from hot sidewalks, cooled
by rain. With them is our Mimi,
our sleek, black cat who must have lain still
in her favorite spot under the lemon tree,
waiting for Rainbow to take her up.
Away her soul flies like a gliding bird.
Rainbow strokes her gently with a brush,
blending her colorful stripes into black fur.
Welcomed by the clouds fluffing themselves
to envelope Mimi, to welcome her in.
Rainbow‖s colors warm her soul, bathed
in rain and light on her flight to the heavens.
A rainy afternoon evaporates, as the sun peeks
out. She is gone with Rainbow. I hope to see her
again soon, every time I see Rainbow.
Poet's note: This poem and photo illustrate nature’s construct of a rainbow. It's so amorphous that it glows, then fades as quickly as it comes—just as life does, whether a cat like Mimi or a human like those of us reading this poem.
Gayle Byock was a university administrator with positions such as an assistant vice chancellor of research and assistant dean. At age 70, she returned to earn her Ph.D. in Humanistic Psychology and Creative Studies, particularly poetry. She is developing a project using poetry to promote self-acceptance and self-empathy for women her age and older.