before dawn the thin
grey cat sleeps nose tucked in paws
on the kitchen chair
Gold curtains fade rose
then white gray as day plummets.
Cat bathes on the sill.
blue wool rug hauled up from the basement,
orange cat curls into its warmth
cat round and purring,
ice cream spooned from the carton,
small hours of morning
one long welt rises
bloody purple on dark skies —
cat grooms by the door
on the maple — tabby hides
in sheltering leaves
orange tabby curled in a window
This small bit of lawn with dirt patches and plastic fencing belongs now to me – ROAR – I hunt in lands dense with tomato bushes – ROAR – Protect thistleweeds and wildflowers alike – ROAR – Chase turkeys three times my size from under the grape arbor – ROAR – I claim this shady porch as my own.
Kindness was meant to be simple
a dish of food, scratch of an ear,
the momentary, warm place
where blizzards were kept away from your sleep.
Now sidewalks blister from the equinox
and each day as I walk home, I listen for your cries
as you wait for me in the window.