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Cat Shelter

Oak planks extend from walls.  On floor, eight hampers
With door and air holes service feline campers
Curled up inside on checkered flannel pads.
Cats snooze as lamplit traffic cruises past
The plate-glass windows guarding them. Twilight—
Half-Tabby—licks her forepaws clean. Stylite—
Half-Persian, mellow as a meatloaf—rests
With paws and tail tucked under, purrs and nests.
Augustine, Swami, Sprint munch tuna, lap
Fresh water, stretch a bit and start to nap
As Twilight calms her grooming, meditates
On traffic, lamplight, moon, and gutter grates.
I pass the windows, grin, not tapping glass,
Admiring their quietude; the gloss
Of creamy, sable, cloudy fur; suave cool.
Their room’s penumbra glints a golden jewel
For every open eye, and Twilight sniffs the night
For danger, finding none. I breathe, stare, not
Budging. For here’s contentment, peace, and calm,
As much as could be heard in any psalm.
Tomorrow they might yowl and scamper,
Dispute two inches in a hamper:
Who knows? But now, no whimper. Calm pervades
My blood. Their silence slows me. Night provides
These cats’ example. Yes, I’d rather nestle
Into a comfy bed tonight than wrestle
With more detail. I’d rather purr than hiss.
I’ll sharpen claws tomorrow. Now I’ll kiss
And hug, connect and meditate in silence
And leave the world its haste and violence.
Posted 04/12/15
from Cathedral and Highrise (2015, Rose Alley Press)
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