SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Missing Cat by Freesia McKee

In a few hours I’ll score

my loss and blessings


lying in bed like the cats

we count when we walk


the dog When I was a small kid

spring was palm fronds


shaking hands in church In the pew

I closed my eyes The green backdrop


behind the cat Misu hides

under the bench In this city


I’m supposed to be a teacher

Mispronounced a student’s name


for weeks Would we say something

again if we knew the other person would


change My



as Misu’s tail wraps around my wrist

I think of eating lunch once


when we got a phone call A friend

had died We thought we knew who


I stopped chewing I remember

the carrots in my mouth


The hunched shoulders the shudder

before a second phone call a miracle


from the person we thought was gone

It rained so hard when we drove here


A wet accident at the end of our block

Could have been her or us


The cat running past

Rubbing his soft head against


my calves Misu’s back

He’s re-appeared I’m want to tell


our neighbor Oobi

his cat’s escaped the trains cars


the predators this time Only loss

can redeem itself like this

Freesia McKee is author of the chapbook How Distant the City (Headmistress Press, 2017). Her words have appeared in cream city review, The Feminist Wire, Painted Bride Quarterly, Gertrude, Huffington Post, and Sundress Press’s anthology Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity. She has performed poetry in bookstores, prisons, classrooms, summer camps, arts groups, and youth programs. Freesia lives in North Miami. 

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