Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Billy Collins Told Me


that it’s nice to include

a cat

in a poem.


Cats and kittens

filled my house, my yard, my neighborhood

when I was a kid


Cats don’t belong 

to anyone except themselves,

but they’re fuzzy, when they want to be


Cats have adopted people in

record numbers

now that we’re all shut-ins


What about

my nonexistent cat should slink into this poem?

I’ll ask it.

It didn’t like the question.

It hissed its answer then

cut with its claw

the only security blanket I own,

my ratty robe, and now

it pooped in

the suitcase I forgot I owned


I wish I could be comforted by

my nonexistent cat.


I should have explained

why a poem with a cat in it wouldn’t work,

but did Billy Collins ever listen to me?