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By: Sydney Barnes

My kitten wobbled with her first step.

The pallid whiskers of her muzzle,

Mottled black and white and orange,

Swept the clinic’s floor.  

Her next step was no better

As she attempted to balance on a phantom limb,

A bald stub.


 “Are you sure you want this one?”

Said the man in grey scrubs,

Leaning down to watch with concern

Her unsteady gate.

“We have several others.”


She hobbled to the cage where little birds darted,

Her milky body swooping with each graceless step.

She rose to her hind legs

(Both accounted for)

And reached for those flittering flashes

Of blue and white and brown,

Feeling soft down against the invisible pad of an invisible paw,

The dead-end joint of her shoulder writhing

In empty air.

Sydney is a recent graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in Biology. Her work has previously been accepted at The New Plains Review, Fiction Southeast, and the OBU Scriblerus.

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