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Chicagoetry: Death of a Blind Woman's Cat (Free Sons)

Death of a Blind Woman's Cat (Free Sons)

"The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today." - Inscription on the memorial to the Haymarket Martyrs, Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, IL

The silence
of the cool, mid-afternoon

broke only
with the wash
of automobiles

hurtling down
the Eisenhower Expressway
just south.

Mrs. Thibodeaux
disdained air-conditioning
but her daughter,

up occasionally
from Atlanta,

on central-air
for the 40s vintage

at Jackson Boulevard
and Harlem Avenue.
Her late husband

the panel brick exterior

after retiring
from the military
in the mid 70s.

Her son and grandson
were Army, too.

It was
a family thing,

in no small measure
dictated by their

caramel-colored skin,

the blast furnace
that is the putrid lie
of "race"

dictating inhuman heroism
in exchange

for barely recognized


She'd bristle
when her wise but
bitter grandson

"Race is just a lie,
gramama . . . "

In the silence
between her Stories,
the TV soaps

to which
she remained loyal
even after diabetes

rendered her blind,
she knew. Her old cat

had disappeared
to die. To where,
she wasn't certain,

although the old cat
stayed indoors, and she knew
she'd smell it

soon enough.

Her husband died
in 1983, his funeral procession
just another

heading west
down Jackson Boulevard
from the church

on Oak Park Avenue
across Harlem
to the cemeteries

along the Des Plaines River
here in Forest Park,

to Free Sons,
south of Waldheim

and Silverman & Weis,
north of Woodlawn.

The Haymarket Martyrs
were west across the river
at Forest Home.

The cat, Mrs. Thibodeaux's
last full-time companion,
will be buried

in the back yard
beneath the marigolds.

Mrs. Thibodeaux,
with relief,

knows she
will be next.


J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.


More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance


Posted on August 13, 2013

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