Cat Words


The cat looks up and sees me on my walk.
Switching its tail, its topaz eyes on me,
It creeps behind a bush. I’m sure the eyes,
Glowing, distrustful, watch me as I pass.
Lucky I’m not a mouse, or a strange cat
High-stepping down the street. I go on home
And sit at my computer. What to write?
It’s one of those blank days when even walking
Hasn’t brought up a thing worth putting down.
(And what, in neighbors’ eyes, could be worth that?)
If the cat came and played on my keyboard
It might write shrdlu (a hiss), etaoin (a yowl),
Or qwertyuiop (a ditsy scamper),
Batting the letters daintily, before
Tiring of sport with hard-skulled plastic mice
And slipping out again to where real ones
With fur and warm blood might come sneaking past.
And there, still with my problem, I would sit,
Shamed by a feline author that, right off,
Created good cat words, then tossed them out,
Knowing they had no value on the street.

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