A Streak of Defiance

a poem by Christine Anne Shaw, UK

Soot black and lean.
A mean machine
who struck terror
in the neighbour's pets.
Cattitude in abundance.

Sleek and sly of paw,
defiant to the end.
He would NOT go gentle
into that long dark night,
but fight.
And fight he did,
almost as though he knew.

I stroked his warm
moulting fur.
A flash of insight,
then out of spite,
he delivered a left hook.
Sharps caught my thumb.

And the outcome of
his last streak of defiance,
a bead of blood.
His gift stung like hell,
but not as much as my tears
as he fell
into eternal sleep.

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