Matthew Zapruder

Ode to Fluffy | Poem for Engagement
October 4, 2012 Zapruder Matthew

Ode to Fluffy


goodbye fluffy

we hardly knew you

you were here

just a few

ordinary weeks

on your way

from a feral life

to a new home

with an ancient woman

whose husband died

on the couch

she waited

you never arrived

it sounds absurd

to say it hurts

we will miss

your grey eyes

the color of nothing

from this world

you were wild

and happy to be

for a time

that turned out

to be the end

resting with us

the ones who gather

in the morning

in the kitchen

to ritually hold

the milk and argue

it came amid

the usual commotion

we all heard

what you said

we never knew

what it meant

you had a pain

we couldn’t help

you were destined

for the earth

in the backyard

a solemn moment

playing silent

music all around us




Poem for Engagement


when they left we were not so sad

and everything continued

a little question inside us asking

where did those young ones

and their baby blue egg

the nest is empty

the wind shaking it

and lately we have to the grocery store

been walking thinking yes

I silently agree

everyone worships us

because we have declared our love

they think we have stood before the Parthenon

and silently pondered

the philosophical questions

actually we were talking a lot

about what we just had for lunch

and arguing why some wine is green

green wine like the ocean

would taste if it weren’t full of salt

each day I drink a mouthful

my own life my secret mountain

I am never going to climb

I am going to tell you

something incredibly useful

to remember next month

when I am flying over Omaha

and you are in bed listening

to what is not there

though I know no one

in that city it will for a moment

seem to me as if I am going to meet

a friend who will say a true decision

is one you do not understand

Matthew Zapruder is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Father’s Day, from Copper Canyon in Fall 2019, as well as Why Poetry, a book of prose. He is editor at large at Wave Books, where he edits contemporary poetry, prose, and translations. From 2016-7 he held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine. He teaches in the MFA and English Department at Saint Mary’s College of California.