the cat lady
She locked herself in a box cluttered with ornamental glass and expensive pottery.
stained glass hung in windows to block out the light
the outside was decorated extravagantly with flowers of many sorts.
A disguise for her prison.
Her lips flapped wildly as she spoke things to impress. She rushed to judge, calling brother a lost soul and piercing my heart
I stumbled around for days, hating her for bestowing such hurt. For being so arrogant, so ignorant. saying without knowing.
But then he shone down his light and told me to take out the thorn.
I listened and slowly twisted it free, feeling blood gush out from my center.
And as I stood their in a red stained dress,
he showed me the thorn, he held it in the light
he showed me why it was sharp
It replicated the hurt that she felt deep inside.
The wind swished all around, and rain began to patter outside
I suddenly I saw things clearly
I saw her, a girl in woman’s form
Shaking and trembling
tears falling down
Having night terrors and vivid visions of being alone, of not being accepted
her and the cats, on the floor of her prison
I wanted to tear through the flower beds and kick down the locked door.
I wanted dance around recklessly
scuffing the hard wood and knocking decorations
I wanted to let out the cats, and set fire to the birthday cards on the cabinet in the sitting room.
cats who didn’t love back, and cards from people who signed “with love” but did not mean it in their hearts
When I was all through, the house would be a disaster
A beautiful disaster
and she would look on in shock
and I would wrap my arms around her, just as he would like me to do
I would tell her she does not need to impress me, she does not need to impress them
God was the only one really looking.
And he loved her
he loved my family
emotional and silly
living in a home that gets a little messy at times
but he does not look at our homes
he does not look at how well our children behave
or how much stuff we have
or how many friends we have
he looks at our hearts
After saying all this, I would leave her there.
There, in the beautiful disaster,
left to pondering such things
If she wanted, she could call on me and I would bring back her cats and help clean up the mess.
Or she could turn on her favourite song and dance just as we do every evening
roll in tempura paint on the living room floor
and bike out to the lake to wash off,
turning legs to a fin and swimming around like a mermaid in the cool waters.
But I do not break into her house and shake up her world
because in this I have learned a lesson
that we must look deeper
the surface is only what we see