I can still hear the skitter of your paws on our floorboards. Still see you run like a rabbit through the sand dunes, pacing anxiously up and down the shoreline while the rest of us swim.
I feel the small weight of you asleep on my lap or resting in my arms. The garden still holds the remnants of bones you hid from your brother, or to trick me into thinking you'd finished and giving you one more. The circle of dirt on your nose always gave you away despite your insistent innocence. I look for you at my feet, silently willing me to help you onto your rug on the couch. I see you in shards of light on the back deck where you sat in the sun or curled up into your bigger brother's belly for warmth on cooler days. You're still here.
Joey the Lion 30/7/2022