A Tale of Hiroshima

The plump tabby visited Bob and Sue in their small one room about three times a day, each time becoming a meal for him. Eventually Bob named him “Boswell” and Sue gave in to her husband’s literary pretensions. There were no children to consult on the grave matter of choosing a feline name.

Without landlord approval they installed a pet door. Their heating bill would go up but that was nothing to Boswell’s convenience.

Besides, what could compare with the warmth and affection of a cat snuggling up to them under the futon on a cold, winter night? In the distance would be the whistle of the hot noodle vendor and up close would be soft purring.

And what better entertainment than Boswell stalking a huge moth and devouring it in a gulp?

Perhaps the crowning point in their relationship with Boswell was Sue crafting a collar for him. This was a stunning array of garnet, rhinestones, and tiger eye with the cat’s name inscribed on a silver disk.

About this time was when they decided to move back to San Francisco and there was not a thought about their animal companion not accompanying them. Sue started researching the fees and immunizations.

Then one day Boswell sauntered through the pet door. There was a small sheet of paper tucked under his collar.

“My name is not Boswell,” the note said in English, printed by hand. “And I belong to the little girl upstairs in 1271. Most Sincerely Yours, Snowflake.”

Bob and Sue departed Japan without their friend.

Woman without Dog

In motion and size
her shadow is lessened,
the cadence of her stride
no longer hastens, led by
rolliciking bursts of storm
that pulled her along.

Arms hang lax of what
to do or hug or caress
or beckon; hands inert,
missing a lifeline fallen
and gone like a summer’s
vine on a winter’s pond.

(for Wendover Brown and Bradley)