You had been running for six days
when they called - you were considered missing.
My mind raced to that kitten
we rescued one soaked Sunday in October.
We chased it through fresh puddles;
Though I feared death under quick tires.
Our option: Trap it between an open gate
and your crisp Timberlands.
Solitary. Soaking. Shivering.
Its ebony coat matted to tiny bones.
We drove it to Judy's for safe-keeping.
Years later, when the police called, chasing you—
my only thoughts: a skinny black cat
and our desire to bring it home.
Tiffany reads "Day 7":
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Tiffany confesses: "This poem was inspired by two instances in my work with 'at-risk' youth as a teacher and a mentor. The title comes from a student who talked about loss not hitting the initial day of the tragedy, but how it hits much later. She spoke about missing a friend, seven days later, and how no one else seemed to notice he was gone. And in the second instance, a young girl I mentored ran away from DCF custody not long after she and I rescued a cat."
TIFFANY WASHINGTON teaches English in Hartford and is the new mother of two energetic, entertaining boys. Occasionally, she writes. Her work has appeared in Caduceus, Long Run Review, and Artis.