Friday, May 29, 2015

Firepaw and Charlie - a Friendship Poem

Photo by Elizabeth Pellette

Photo by Amy LV

Students - This is a true poem.  Firepaw is really our cat.  And Charlie was really our neighbor cat.  They loved each other.  When Charlie died earlier this year, I wished that Firepaw could understand English, even if just for a moment.  I wanted so dearly to explain that Charlie was gone, would not be coming back.  When I see Firepaw waiting down by the mailbox these days, I wish I could help him understand.

We all have feelings that come up again and again, good feelings, sad feelings, confused feelings, lonely feelings, surprising feelings.  We might talk about our feelings and wishes with other people, or we might want to keep them to ourselves. Writing is a way to help make sense of these things, to see them on the page, and both celebrate inside and heal our hearts too.

Firepaw still does have his sister, Pickles.  She is another one of our cats.  They love each other Firepaw is not alone.  But we still miss Charlie.

In news this week, I have been very busy at my other blog.  A bit less than two weeks ago, Kimberley Moran from iWrite in Maine suggested that I host a Summer Edition of ideas at Sharing Our Notebooks. Well, 43 entries of crowdsourcing later, the collection of ideas is beautiful and rich, and I welcome your voice too! You can read about the project here and check out the list of ideas here. Teachers, be sure to check out the bookmarks in the Sharing Our Notebooks sidebar too.  So many wonderful ideas for summer!  I am truly grateful to host this collection and cannot wait to see where it goes.

Margaret is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Reflections on the Teche.  Visit her online home to learn about all of the delicious poetry goodies around the Kidlitosphere today.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. My heart goes out to Firepaw waiting for Charlie. What a touching true story and your poem captures their endearing friendship.

  2. Waaaaaaaaa! The image of Firepaw waiting each day for Charlie, who never comes, hurts my heart. But having Pickles makes things better, I'm sure. (I wonder if she thinks, "Oh Firepaw, stop going to the mailbox!" and he thinks, "It's not to wait for Charlie, it's to get some peace and quiet from your endless yammering, Pickles!"

    How did I get to the point of having imaginary eavesdropping sessions with your cats?!

  3. I have two brothers, Buzz and Bill. Oh, I cannot imagine how one could be without the other. This poem had a sad ending. I love the story-ness to it. Like I was listening to you tell about Charlie and Firepaw.

  4. Not sure which had a stronger pull on my heart– Charlie's magnetic eyes or your magnetic poem, Amy. How I wish I could give Firepaw a cuddle.

  5. I love that you shared this story with us, Amy. Animals can be close friends to, I've seen it happen all my life. The structure of your poem is lovely, too. And, so great that you have so many entries for your summer notebooks. Wow!

  6. Your poem tugged at my heart too, Amy. I like Keri's imagined dialogue between Firepaw and Pickles :-)

  7. Still missing our sweet Hadley, so I'm a sucker for poems or pics about cats. And a post that has both - irresistible! I love that relaxed picture of Firepaw.

  8. Yes, our Sophie still waits for Oliver, and with such hope.

  9. This is so touching, Amy. I get teary thinking about how much longer we have with our 15 year old cat, who also likes to sleep on the back of the couch! Give Firepaw a hug for me!

  10. Yes, every now and then we do need and inter-species translating device.

    What a miracle that notebook post is turning out to be!

  11. Amy,
    What a special relationship. Makes me wonder how far they would have traveled to stay connected. Thanks for sharing!

  12. That is a beautiful, heart-wrenching poem, Amy, and I totally 'get' how you wished Firepaw could understand English for a moment. Maybe he did...

    I have dipped in and out of Poetry Friday over the last year or so, but I haven't contributed myself, though I hope I will... In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I included your beautiful Forest Has a Song in a gathering of poetry books about trees recently -