To What We Lost – Erica Abbott
Come read the sweet writing of Erica Abbott. She walks through the painful emotions of losing a pet, while portraying the wonderful amount of love for it.
The day you died, it took everything
not to beg for a dose of that solution
for myself. I took a pre-bereavement day
just so we could spend a few extra hours
together. I held you in my arms and ended
up falling asleep to the sound of your ragged
breathing. The doctor entered your home
and you defended it one last time. An intruder
who would break your family, you knew. A tiny arm
left shaved to make way for the needle and your tuft
of cocoa-powder brown hair placed in a plastic bag
before one paw was printed into some lifeless clay.
Not to be outdone in memory, the grease stain
in your shape sat on the white wingback chair
you had stolen as a bed. Before the poison
was injected, I removed the red collar the color
of blood that poured from your nose and kiss
the little spot between your eyes before they
closed for good. I knew you were already gone
despite the lack of stethoscope around my neck
and you were wrapped in a blanket of our collective
grief and carried away in a cardboard box of memories.
Your death was a tragic trespasser that broke us
and still there are some nights I look to the living
room floor to see the outline of your little body
before it was turned to ash—
made to be scattered
like sweet cocoa powder.
Erica Abbott (she/her) is a Philadelphia-based poet and writer. She has been writing for over 15 years and her work has been published in Toho, perhappened, Flora Fiction, and other journals. She is the author of Self-Portrait as a Sinking Ship (Toho 2020), her debut poetry chapbook. She works as a volunteer for Button Poetry and Mad Poets Society. Her work focuses on mental illness, hope, and love. Follow her on Instagram @poetry_erica and on Twitter @erica_abbott.