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Following the Cat

ISSUE:  Spring 1986
(for Joshua)

The old music calms him as he follows
the cat’s thin lines of whiskers,
gray-and-black-striped raccoon tail,
yellow hat with blue ribbon drifting
down. It is the cat of his dreams
who roams through deep fields of wheat
and orchards of fruit, the cat atop
a barn beam thirty feet afloat
in the dust-filled light that barn slats
slice. Cat with ivory teeth and claws,
full-chested cat who hears the horse stomp
two-hundred feet away in its frosted stall.
Ah, the cat who bobs more than the duck
or frog, much more than the bear,
the rabbit someone mistakenly placed at the center.
He knows the cat knows where the mice live
beneath the hay, that cat eyes can see
in the dark. One-month old and so wise,
this child following only the cat
who circles the crib on the quietest of feet.


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