Safe Water for Travelers
In the morning you set out a bowl of water
for the neighborhood cat,
your porch a stopping point in his rounds.
He has no interest in the warmth of your house
or any other. He is a wanderer,
unwilling, unable to settle in a single place,
not unlike many of the people dearest to you,
their lives and gods unsettled,
always in flux as they poke and probe and question
every settled thing, always slightly uncomfortable,
but even less so in the settled.
And so, like the lankly grey cat who visits your porch
each morning about eight,
you offer all you have that would suit them best,
safe water for drinking, a peaceful place to rest,
where they are always welcome,
a temporary stability in the wandering,
home, whether they know it or not,
for a moment.
About this poem.
I long ago came to understand the power of emotional safety for people finding their way through life. I have had it, lost it, and found it again. I also try to provide it for those who pass through my own journey. It has become something of a mission of mine. There is too little of it.
The picture actually is from Disney World, but that phrase, “safe water for travelers”, has hung in my mind and heart.
And we do have a neighborhood cat who stops in on our back porch for a quick bite now and again.