the cardboard box
by C. E. Laine

It's raining.
I hoped it wouldn't.

The sun came out for a few minutes
as we placed her in the earth. It's quiet
without her. Even the thunder can't speak.

She died last night beneath my fingers.
The transfusion was not enough. Atropine
was impotent, like me, standing there
beneath the blue-ish haze of fluorescents.

I'm glad it came on so fast. She didn't have time
to suffer. We'll do that for her. After she left,
we stood beside her, fingers wrapped in her
still-warm fur, that mix of autumn leaves.

She came home in a tiny, corrugated
cardboard box. It was heavy. How can
10 pounds feel like 50? All of it is lead
in my chest. Now her box is under the dirt
we churned. I want to lay over it, keep
the rain off her, wait for one more purr.

for Emms (1987 - 2003)

twelve months of haiku
by C. E. Laine


Two months, you’ve been gone.
I can’t put away your clothes--
it is too cold now.


I sleep like a cat--
I have not washed my hair or
done the laundry yet.


I am a sparrow--
your reflection in windows,
banging into glass.


Green things poke through soil--
a blanket to warm your grave.
I am cold- so cold.


The birds annoy me.
They sing as if you were here.
I close the windows.


Your blanket is thick--
mine is pulled over my head,
despite the noon heat.


You explode in stars--
bits of paper with your name
blaze their way to ground.


The grass you watered
fades now beneath a hot star;
tear-stained; brown like sand.


I found you beneath
raked leaves and a dry-eyed sky.
The colors are gone.


You were sick, this time
last year-- begging for an end.
You knew I’d listen.


Your grave is flat now.
There is green moss on your stone.
Your head rests gently.


I folded your shirt--
your scent clings to the walls here.
I can’t put it down.

About the Author
C. E. Laine's work has appeared in many publications, including Poems Niederngasse, New World Poetry, Free Zone Quarterly, Poetry Super Highway, Countless Horizons, The White Shoe Irregular, Bay Review Liberal Arts Journal, Friction Magazine, 2River View, Kota Press, Absinthe, Stirring (writing as Kit Sullivan), The White Shoe Irregular, Clean Sheets, Erosha, Beauty for Ashes, Ludlow Press, Melic Review, The Adirondack Review and Pierian Springs. She has written two books of poetry: "allegory" (ISBN: 0-595-22462-8) and "The Weight of Dust" (ISBN: 0-595-26943-5). They are available at . She is a writer and a student pilot. She divides her time between writing and flying old airplanes. She avoids the mundane whenever possible, with the exception of making lists. She is a student pilot, a realtor, and a web designer when she isn't writing. In the past, she's been magician's assistant, a baker, an extra in a few movies, a licensed artist in New Orleans' French Quarter, and a soldier in this girl's U. S. Army. She lives in a creaking old Virginia home, conveniently ruled by seven cats. She enjoys making lists on sticky notes when she isn't writing poems. ~ Contemporary, minimalist poetry
(Visit my writing/poetry workshop - This So Called Life) ~ VLQ: a literary journal
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