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Now that I am older I know why
we bought the boys those pets
over the years, trudged home with gerbils,
hamsters, garter snakes, guppies, a dog
and more. It had little to do with begging
and crying at pet stores and other places.
Had nothing to do with the joys Brittany,
Billy, Bobby and other friends received
being the caretakers of short-lived things.

The first few losses were really our pain;
we helped them wrap, box and bury.
Within days our strength judged again
as we stood before another cash register.
Innate actions with purpose so apparent
as we glance at each other, from opposite
ends of the pew, across the accepting faces
of what are now our men, while they grasp
ashes and dust blowing from the apse.


Steve Meador’s book Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, released by D-N Publishing in 2008, was an entrant for a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize for poetry. He has been widely published, in print and online, resulting in multiple Pushcart and other nominations. Pudding House released two of his chapbooks in 2007, A Good Sharp Knife, and Pack Your Bags.  A real estate broker in California, Ohio and Florida for the last 30 years, Steve currently lives in the Tampa area.

© 2011, Steve Meador

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