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Jan 2017
You came too soon, the four of you,
into this world.  Your mother,
recognising the feeling,
did what she had to do
to give birth to you,
cleaned you,
disposed of the afterbirth
in nature's economical way.
But you had no experience,
no knowledge of how to be kittens.
Almost still foetuses,
furless, unmoving, cold,
you did not stimulate
her maternal instinct.
She did not recognise you
as her babies. Lying against her belly,
you did not know how to suckle,
and she, not ready to feed you,
walked off.
You had no future.

A bucket of water, I thought, would speed
your departure from the life
you had barely started.
But you, recognising the element
you had so lately left,
were at home in it,
swam untroubled under the surface
like tiny, pink sea creatures.

Unwilling to watch longer,
I gave you a quicker end.
Your mother, unlike me,
resumed her life
as if nothing had changed.
Paul Hansford
Written by
Paul Hansford  81/M/England
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