I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

12 March 2017

What I Never Told Anyone

I came home from a trip away
and my old cat was covered in fleas.
Why had no-one looked after her?

I sprayed her with pyrethrum,
then I thought: It's OK to breathe, 
but maybe it shouldn't go on skin.

So I took her to the bathroom
and washed it all off in the basin,
which she hated. 

After I'd dried her off, 
I put flea powder on her 
that we had for the dogs, 
rubbed it well in.

That was 36 years ago,
and I only found out today
it can kill cats. 
But I always knew I killed her. 

It took some weeks.
She got thin. One morning
she went outside and disappeared.
She was 18 then; my first and favourite cat.

This week, in the Writing Our Way Alive course, we are asked for Honesty.


  1. Ooooo. This is a toughy. Made me reflect on my sins.

  2. It's breathtaking...so sorry, Rosemary...

  3. Oh so very sad. We all have these knowings, the things we don't speak of. You are brave.

  4. Oh, that is so very sad, Rosemary....

  5. I have a similar story about how I think I unintentionally killed our dog with a small amount of mole poison buried in the yard. I'll never be sure but surer than you were for 36 years.

    1. I thought at the time it must have been the pyrethrum, even though I washed it straight off again. Having finally written this down, I can look back now with some compassion for the young woman I was then.