One Year Six Months

-By Saoirse Maxwell

Magpie, he gather and watch.
In twos and threes.
I am counting for joy, a girl,
or boy.
He is stealthy.
Watching. Waiting. For days.
Mamma cat never sees it coming.
Blind kitten – Deaf kitten – Mews.
Struggle for the teat.
Nature's lure takes over.
Mamma ignores the flayed front paws,
bloodied face and ear.
It cry and cry.
"How could she," my daughter wails,
"all I could think of was your mom."
Abandoned. Helpless. Lonely.
How could they?
And I, her mother, cannot explain the actions
of siblings,
family nor friends.
Like her I yowl.
Inside I have been flayed like the kitten.
Tendons exposed, veins swollen, pulsating.
Wincing, unprotected.
I can only image the fear in this wee kit as it
kneads at mother's belly, begging for a teat.
Pleading for survival.
Seeking comfort as it once did in its mother's fluffy folds.
I carry that kitty through the bog roads, uphill and down.
In the car she mews and nestles in soft hot water bottle cover.
Like with my mother – I can only hope.
Later the call, like with my mother – damage too extensive. She cannot survive.
At least, I tell myself, you tried. You reached out.
And what of my mother?
One year since Probate was granted.
One year and six months since you finally let go.
Well over two of the thievery and crime he hatched.
Murder. Like magpie.

I still howl in the wind.
For you.
For justice.
At least I try.


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day UN Declaration of Human Rights European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity Towards a Society for All Ages