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Black Cat (5/11/90)

William Goresko 1951 (Philadelphia, PA) – 2008 (Willow Grove, PA)



Black cat creeping onto my porch
And startling me, dusky specter
Sidling up by my chair, you curl
Around my feet softly mewing.
But you are no ordinary black cat
With your concave flanks
And your cloudy cataract eye.
Your tattered ears tell of
Battles over mates and turfs
Fought under moonlit skies
And inky skies strewn with stars
That glitter like shards of glass
That litter the blacktop streets
Over which you stray.

Strange that one such as you,
Scarred and torn by battle,
Left looking fierce and rancorous,
Should be so gentle, almost meek.
Old boxers sometimes attain
This state of grace; after a life
Of meting out and absorbing
Mankind's murderous bile they slide
Into a stuporous serenity
All venom pummeled out of them,
Anger spent, almost defenseless,
Dependent on the kindness
Of those for whom they've bled.

And so black cat it's come to this,
No longer able to tear into flesh and bone,
You haunt the backdoors of my streets
Seeking charity, a silent shadow
Slowly slinking to and fro
Your voice a faint whisper,
Telling your tale to all who will listen.
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Submitted by cuwoodford on April 29, 2021

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William Goresko

William Goresko was an avid landscape photographer, a lover of backpacking and the outdoors, a voracious reader of classical literature and ardent fan of classical music as well as 60s rock and folk music. He also loved cooking and watching Sixers basketball games. He was a floor sander by trade. In 1984 at age 32 he was rendered quadriplegic in a car accident and lived for 24 more years. He retained his love of life and had a strong will to live. All poems were written a few years after the accident, typed one letter at a time, using a sip and puff device. Poems were submitted by his wife Cheryl. more…

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