For this month’s blog my wife, the poet Kimberly Esslinger, and I have written a joint poem—
Walking in Moonlight Before the Pandemic
and what is done to the least of these….
Where is the god of woman. Of cats. Of dead cats?
Of wives. Of midnight walks with dogs and the normalcy of silence.
And day becoming more like night in this stillness. All the crowded spaces. Open.
Empty. A bag floats down at night. A grocery bag. Onto the hood of a
speeding hatchback. Not a bag. But now a cat. Someone’s cat. Dead.
Just like that. A hatchback. And yes, here I was, with my dogs, wanting to believe
it was alive. I start to call her, she. Did she just move? Did you see her move?
My wife has gloves. A box. A plan. But I push her away.
I believe in god. And she could heal this cat.
She would. She would if I would wait long enough.
And the streetlights ring yellow light, cast shadows, and
we have no idea what’s coming. Like this dead cat who belonged somewhere
else. Maybe to someone…. But there’s this virus. It’s coming.
You do not need to be fragile to be run over by a hatchback, or a truck.
You do not need to believe in god. And I sat nursing the cat into her next life.
Next to an empty box. Unused gloves. I lifted her from the street to the soft
grass under the moonlight. And arranged her legs like she was running.
towards the uncertainty coming at all of us.
–Marie Cartier and Kimberly Esslinger
In These United States, March 2020
7 thoughts on “Walking in Moonlight Before the Pandemic by Marie Cartier and Kimberly Esslinger”
Beautiful. Thank you.
Thank you. Stay safe my FAR sister ♡
Ahhh, yes, the Olden Days. If this pandemic goes on, we’ll be looking at photographs and saying, “Look! Those people are touching each other.” We’ll be remembering the things you describe on the streets and remember them as beautiful. We’ll remember what it’s like to go into a mall or a restaurant. We’ll remember parties. We’ll remember going out with our dear ones and not being afraid to touch anyone or anything. Yes, we’ll even remember nursing sick animals and leading dead cats into their next lives.
Thanks for writing this poem and posting it today.
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Thank you for being such a valuable voice always. I miss seeing you at the Goddess gatherings which yes right now seem so magical and “other worldly”- I love your reflections here ♡
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I was struck by the word “uncertainty” I guess because uncertainty seems to have always marked the road ahead in my life – perhaps not so in others? To uncertainty we add fear of death… and the reality that if we don’t begin to listen to Climatologists warnings we can expect more of same. Do we realize that scientists discovered this virus in 2015, and PUBLISHED scienific papers about it in 2017 and they were ignored….?
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I didn’t know that about those papers published in 2015!! Wow– and of course it makes sense. Thank you for sharing such an important point in this discussion ♡
Blessings to you all in this troubled time. My family and I have a song we sing whenever we encounter any creature (including trees) that is being reborn as an ancestor. Lovely poem, and powerful experience of midwifery.