Thursday, April 1, 2010

Consider the Cat

April Poem A Day Challenge—

Spartan meows lonely as the rain on the horizon.
My job is to cuddle him an hour a day
while his owners visit Paris in springtime
but he'll have none of it. I try holding him,
rolling the ball, offer cat treats, speak in silly kissy voices
you wouldn't want to be caught dead uttering in public,
all I get for my efforts is ribboned flesh.
I try sitting in different couches to entice him.
Nothing works. He won't stop circling the kitchen
meowing piteously for all things lost.
He tries different languages, translations of lost meows
but nothing works. They're inexplicably gone.
And I can't tell him, this many days on the calendar of hope.
Living up to his name, he eschews affection and toys.
Keeps a spartan existence. I think:
what if he dies of loneliness while they're gone?
Only on my watch. I've grown accustomed to the idea
having lived much of my life alone, and now
living with a man who demands a wide satellite orbit
that I've created artificial islands of loneliness
in order to survive. I find solace in the starkness.
Only when I sit down at the table to write this poem
does the cat come unbidden to my lap and tuck himself in
the crook of my arm for a long desolate purr.

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