Posted in Gracie's Glimmer, Poetry From A Woman Who Thinks Too Much

I Cannot Sleep. The Cats Are Crying.


On my garage stoop the cats are gathered
crying into the damp, dark mist that rises before dawn.
Sitting in a circle, they howl and whine and mew
like old women with a dilemma to ponder anew.
Another stray arrives but softly cries outside the circle
whimpering as he pleads for admission to the klatch.
The cats howl and whine and mew among themselves
and one fat grey cat snarls his veto. He is out-voted.
The sitting cats become silent and look into each
other’s glowing eyes, then, as one, they turn
their sullen eyes to gaze upon the stranger.
Their silence is inviting so the tenderfoot softly
pads into the circle and sits submissive.
The conversation resumes.
Cold air turning warm breath into smoke and eerie whispers
forming smoky words which crawl into my veins, raising hairs,
fears that have no name, foundation for terror that blooms.
There are no refreshments but the cats don’t seem to mind
stray cats are used to hunger, thirst, cold tea bags
and cigarette butts in the trash can-food that they find.
I’d set out milk and cookies if the cats were inviting
but although a stray myself, their yellow glares
remind me, I don’t belong. I’m not their kind.
The whining, mewling voices grow louder
anger colored by painful memories obviously arises.
Entranced, I listen in silence from my porch until
the meeting is adjourned, ending with screams of rage.
The strays go their separate ways, running,
running to the four corners of my fields.
One mangy calico remains at post beneath my window
to plead their case, to keep the vigil.
Crying with a newborn baby’s wail to my empty arms
while from the fields, the stray’s cries drift back to my ears.
I cannot sleep. The cats are crying.
I used to let them sleep in the garage but they peed on the racecar
and they crapped on the Snap-On tools.
They had heat, food and water, ladders to climb the rafters
but then, aren’t all stray cats a little rude?
I fed my babies milk and cookies
Nevertheless, I let their innocence die, so who am I to say?
Because in a perfect world they’d be no unwanted
babies, kids or cats called stray.
Babies whose only crime was that they sat on wells of oil
immobilized by a terrorist regime which ruled their world.
Their frightened eyes filled the TV cameras
which sent their pleas out to the masses.
Set them free from the terror we heard every day
so, we sent our sons and husbands and let them die.
War does not set babies free as we were led to believe
It is a power play to reline the coffers of the rich
deadly support for the hungry powers that we feed.
Yes, in a perfect world they’d be no unwanted
babies, kids or cats called stray.
I cannot sleep. The cats are crying.

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