for Sari

That day in winter: the rows
of shabby cages, stacked
like death-camp bunk beds,
in which tiger kittens gamboled,
young toms hissed or dozed
in corners, old tabbies stared
unblinkingly at us
as if they knew their fate,
and a chipper black-and-orange-and-white cat
rose to greet us—as if we were
her family, returned home
at the end of day—and nuzzled
the bars of her cage,
to which a three-by-five
card was affixed, decreeing
the date of her demise.