Is dad asleep?
He is sprawled on the couch, eyes closed,
but he isn’t snoring.
The cat is regal,
in the computer chair, watching TV,
random NCIS re-run on mute.
The cat is watchman,
the aloof and loving angel,
watching him through the dark hours.
Neither me or dad sleep at night,
up all hours, hungry for novelty
and feeling, a soothing to our restlesness.
The cat is his,
his protector and minister, heavenly emissary,
for dad was a hero in his youth.
The cat licks his chops,
he’s gotten to like the violent shows.
He’ll watch them with dad, all night long.
I grab tea from the fridge,
Dad could be closed in, but awake.
He doesn’t hear me, either way.
The cat regards me,
sniffing and squinting, turning away.
He protects dad. I made my mistakes.