died this morning,
barely breathing
when my wife picked him up
from his cage.

Our grandson
named him after his favorite
Cubs baseball player,
asked us to keep Rizzo
when his dad took
an out-of-town job.

She held, petted him until the end.
"He is cold," she said
through her tears.
" I want to keep him warm,"
as she swaddled him.

He passed in her arms,
a last whisker twitch.
She petted him a long time after.
"To see if he is gone."
He was.

I wondered which one of us
will keep the other
when our time comes?

Originally published in Spindrift Literary Magazine