Wednesday, October 21, 2009

grampa's gone to chattanooga

in the afternoon
i pet the cat in the yard.
it's a warm day for december.
the cat remembers me from a month ago or more.

i had to talk to him to convince him i was me.
he took the cue and followed around the yard
from the garden where he sunned to watch
birds make a ruckus for the warmth.
he missed me while i was gone.

the dogs are jealous and hungry for the cat.
these hounds are chained and their long ears flop as they bark.
i sit to enjoy the day for all the light it's worth
on the winter solstice.

the cat sits at my feet on a discarded doormat
on the loud carpet of leaves.
pages blown to the ground.
he scratches his wartorn ear,
talks like there's treasure beneath these trees,
a pot of gold or an animal small enough to hunt.
he wont like it when i leave.

his ears perk up and he makes for cover
to hide his approach
as a rabbit rustles leaves across the driveway.
the cat ducks
the rabbit watches
frozen save for searching ears
the cat leaps
and the chase is on.

this is the same rabbit he's always been hunting.
the rabbit that eats potato peels grampa throws out.

the cat does not succeed.
he makes himself seen and turns nonchalantly
into the briar patch
to stalk his quarry anew.

inside it's warm enough to call home.
the sun sets out past the road, the valley and the next ridge.
it streaks through the house like the cat bounds through leaves
with speed and accuracy.
he is the closest thing to a pet here, more a friend.

the sun is the shortest-day-of-the-year's final hint at waning light
before the longest night of the year.
directions change tomorrow.

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