By Tina Dunlap

unison He and the cats are singing together,
quietly, in the winter morning light.
I am in bed listening, lying very still,
trying to forget that I am awake
an hour before the alarm is set.

His face is nuzzled in the back of my neck.
I feel the even rise and fall of his breath,
and without thinking I follow his rhythm,
the rhythm of my husband—that word
so new, it still trips off my tongue.

The big brown tabby is where he always is,
on my pillow above my head, his soft caramel
belly fur pushing against my brow. He hums
low and loud, slow and steady, with
bursts of happy, high-pitched chirping.

The little black cat is usually at my feet, but
this morning she is in the crook of my arm.
Her licorice whip of a tail seems to sprout
from my inner elbow. It moves in time with
her sweet, light, pure purr purr purr.

We are entangled, we are entwined, we are
extensions of one another. I listen to their song,
their individual parts so perfectly in tune,
and I know that when I sleep, I sing with them,
all of us, together, in harmonious union.

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Copyrightę2002 by Tina Dunlap.

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