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Waiting for a Femoral Head Ostectomy: A Painting

 

After two days hiding under the bed, my cat
emerges, carrying his back leg as if useless, the toes

on the supporting paw spread wide
for balance. He continues like this, eyes wide

and dilated, a growl that returns most evenings
as the pain sets back in. It flowers, like

the spread paws, back down through the leg
until he can do nothing but carry it,

or lie down. Days and nights. I imagine placing him
in front of a series of mirrors, the strange

pirouette-leg, the left-handed toes spread

too far, to balance, to cry out, the sublimation
of the possible fall. I imagine him reaching up

toward the bar, its slickness, nails running loud
against the painted metal, until he grips

and pulls up, weight only on the sturdy leg, tail high
in assurance, flower in the hip, quieter.

 

 

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