Animals Know by Michaelann Dimitrijevich

As an animal lover — and as someone who has experienced the grief of losing a parent — this poem by Michaelann Dimitrijevich strikes me to my core.


Photo by Stephan Henning on Unsplash

Michaelann Dimitrijevich

Animals Know

There are always horses on that hill
but on the day
we transport my mother home to die
there is only one—
white, an apparition,
and it turns toward us and descends
with reverent nods
as we pass.

Animals know
Death—
they are brave and loyal soldiers.

Like the black cat
I gave her
a rescue to save her
when she became the queen, alone,
in a king size bed.
When we moved her from her home
for more care than we,
or the cat could provide,
then the cat mourned
its empty side of the bed
and died.
With a prescience we did not have
it knew that its mission,
its secret service was over.

My mother died yesterday,
and tonight
in the light of half a moon
half of me
is gone forever.
Only my tears are whole.
Our dog hears me weeping
and comes to sit at my feet.
Together we contemplate
the heavens
and succumb
to the night birds’
Requiem.


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