Issue > Poetry
Rob Walker

Rob Walker

Rob Walker divides his time between Himeji, Japan and the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. His work appears in a number of web- and print-based journals, his own poetry website, a full collection micromacro (Seaview Press, 2006), New Poets Ten (Friendly Street, 2005) and a chapbook, phobiaphobia (Picaro Press, 2007).

Watching My Blind Cat

narla walks past the lounge room window in winter sun
as I'm trying to finish a short story   feline fluidity now
a disconnected concatenation of tentative movements
her nose is her new eyes     but she misjudges     jerks
backwards at every sniff      the lawn is a featureless wasteland    
she zigzags in slowmotion   the same ground she once covered
like an arrow. wends her way to the fishpond bumping blinking
into branches.  visions of blindness.   that night in the shack on
hindmarsh island coming back from the toilet to the bedroom
in the no-moon dark    fixed action patterns of habit retracing
steps  headbutting strange walls  a rat in a maze, cornered until
i realise i'm in the wrong room.   the blind man at the bus stop.
watching him through the restaurant window      coins falling to
footpath  probing the dirty concrete with the backs of his hands.

the fish need not fear. my blind cat's come to lap their universe.
what is to be done with this decrepitude? is it kinder to end her
life?            or must we all accept we're past our prime    
i remember my grandfather watching in awe at  boyish
sure-footedness as i rockhop barefoot over the breakwater,
his awe    a discarnate nostalgia           for muscle-memory.

narla takes one step down from the pond's rim   she extends
her nose several times                  indecisively pussyfoots air
makes contact with the ground.

my father's last month in the nursing home. his last chapter.
we had all peeked at the last page.
watching him, sharp acuity dulled, pale ghost of his once-self.

it's kinder on the birds   the mice   the insects she'll no longer
present to me on the coir-mat platter.      completely harmless.
her mercury motion solidified and leaden. she crawls into
the watery sun and sleeps as well               as she ever did.

leaves the decision to me.


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