Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Guardians of Peace, encaustic, 10" x 12"


Before my shower this morning,
I slip off my t-shirt, leaving
it to uninhabit me on the bathroom floor,
then slough off my bright orange underwear
and blue-striped pajama bottoms,
watch them as they slide down
my hips, past the yellowing bruise
on my left thigh, the mosquito bite
aglow on my left knee, and the black bird
tattoo perched on my right ankle, leaving
them at my feet like an extra layer of shed skin.

Through the shower’s foggy glass,
I spot my night self heaped in a pile,
and think of last night’s nightmare,
of my father dying all over again,
the adrenaline sweat’s sickly sweet
stain left on my clothes--
and then I spy my cat approaching,
sniffing the pajama puddle.
He circles twice before settling
in the center, then begins to knead
the little heap with his claws, rubs
his nose into my shirt’s armpit,
and sleeps right there, in the remnants
of my terror, content to be in it,
for I am comfort and he can smell it--
beneath the taste of panic’s tang,
despite the nighttime tremors
that sometimes shake him right off the bed,
I am still the one who he adores,
I am still the one who smells of love.

--Courtney Putnam, c. 2009


  1. i love this poem and i adore this piece... i just gave you a blogger award, because




    thank you!


  2. Wow, thank you, my buddhagirl twin!

    Really, I am so touched...


  3. So often your work moves me to tears, and this is one of thise times, Courtney. Your words strike a chord somewhere in my soul.

  4. I love this poem and the piece is gorgeous! you touch my heart.

  5. Thank you Alberta and La Docle Vita. It means a great deal to me that I touched your hearts in some way.

    You both do the same for me in your work.


  6. what a beautiful poem that both saddened me and comforted me, just like our dreams.. thanks for sharing