Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Elegy for a White-Footed Cat


I watch our infant daughter,
innocent and sleeping. I can’t help
but think of the kitten we raised
after his mother unceremoniously
booted him from the teat. We felt
sorry, named him two different
things—we should call him:
Lucky or Caligula.
Caligula: Nickname for
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.
Common translation: little boots.
His father took him out
on the military fields, sword in hand,
in full uniform at three years old.
Liggy’s what stuck, which didn’t
matter when he didn’t answer, after
three days away. We found him
on the side of the highway.
I was seven months pregnant,
he was three days stiff. His tongue
gone from sandpaper pink to asphalt.
In the backyard, we plant him
beneath what we thought
was his favorite mimosa.
In spring, the leaves lounge out
like Japanese fan blades.
Our daughter, learning to walk,
turns the stone and barrels ahead.

Alicia Casey holds an MA in English from Austin Peay State University. She is currently completing her MFA in Poetry at the University of Mississippi, where she is a Grisham fellow and the poetry editor of the Yalobusha Review. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Main Channel Voices, Zone 3, and The Journal of the Association of Research on Motherhood. She lives in the pine forests of Water Valley with her husband and their infant daughter.