I didn’t believe in miracles

I didnt believe in miracles
until we found the cat
unharmed behind a dresser.

It had been three weeks
since my father’s death,
and the cans of cat food
the detectives laid out
had grown maggots, uneaten.
I was preparing to find
a corpse, not a cat.

That day I hid
in the bedroom
while my husband
cleaned up the
puddle of blood
on the ground,
my father’s remains.
I sorted through
the detritus of
both of my
dead parents’ lives.

Most of it was trash
(please throw out
old hair ties and
receipts from fifteen
years ago, be kind
to your descendants)
but there were
religious statues,
Hindu and Buddhist
and even orishas,
and it was right near
Rosh Hashanah,
so I wasn’t fucking around
in any pantheon.

I pulled out
a statue of Oya,
misteess of storms,
intimately connected
to death and rebirth,
and set her aside special.

Something fell behind
the dresser, so I reached
down and felt something
dense and furry:
the tuxedo cat.
There she was,
so still that he
thought she might be dead.

While we discussed options,
she ran away.
Not dead.
When we caught her
she stayed still again,
eyes haunted, ears back.

The vet didn’t believe
she’d gone weeks
without food or water.
The plants, I offered,
maybe she ate the plants
my dad kept in the bedroom.
Maybe there was still
a mouse somewhere,
although the mice
had fled years before.

I didn’t believe
in miracles, but
now I think I do.
All the other synchronicities,
too numerous and mundane
to bother to name,
all of them pale
in comparison to finding
this one creature,
alive and well
when she had every
right not to be.


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