I cannot find a reference for the following verse, so if anyone knows who to credit for the below words, please let me know. I’d appreciate it.
“The Measure of a Man”
Not “How did he die?” But “How did he live?” Not “What did he gain?” But “What did he give?” Not “What was his station?” But “Had he a heart?” And “How did he play his God-given part?” Not “What was his shrine?” Nor “What was his creed?” But “Had he befriended those really in need?” Not “What did the piece in the newspaper say?” But “How many were sorry when he passed away?” Was he ever ready with a word of good cheer, to bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
These are the units to measure the worth, Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
A brown velvet nose presses into the crook of my elbow
Paws rest against my aching arm
Locked into position by his warm body
I shift, try to roll, uncomfortably
Today there is no comfort
Seven years old, my cat snores, not purrs
A soft gurgle, followed by
Chirpy, high-pitched wheezing
I worry I have given him lung cancer
From when I used to smoke
I worry he is in pain
And I don’t know
I worry he will get hit by a car
If he escapes outside
I worry how I will cope
When he dies
But I’ve never worried about him