Within the clutter, a clay cat
with daubed blue eyes and dashed whiskers
white against the black of cold fur.
I dust it routinely, knock powder
from between its ears, its paws, the crook
of its tail. It reports on my neglect.
I could break it, sever the connection
of gift and receipt; let fly shelved guilts
and griefs stored in its factory smile.
She is just a string of digits away,
it tells me. Pick up the purring comforter,
hold it to your cheek; click the buttons
and chat to Mother, who gave it me.