Marley didn’t have plans for children herself
but she agreed to watch the baby 
when it was “Time For An Evening Out.” 

We saw a movie. I think it was about a mother
trying to text the friend watching the baby and
the father saying try to enjoy yourself, he’s fine. 

When we got home after the movie, the baby was
in his bouncer while Marley, half-asleep, rocked him
with her arm hanging down the side of the futon.

He was little – only a month older than
the kitten that came to live here last night,
the smallest and first indoor animal we’ve had.

I thought of her last night when the kitten woke,
meowing, with no mother to comfort him.
I thought of Mavis, up at the neighbor’s, 

wondered how she was feeling, wondered
what she would want me to do to help her baby.
So I put my head beside him on the blanket

and snuggled the soft gray fluff around him.
I smoothed his fur over and over, whispering comfort
the best I could, while he purred himself to sleep.