©1995 Susan Noyes Anderson, Poetpourri
I remember the cat in better days, strutting
smugly through the soft, gold carpet, master
of his own paw-printed hallways, a silky legacy
on each duvet. I was an observer then, amused,
detached. The house would soon be mine, the cat
a memory; belonging as he did to doting
owners––who loved, it seemed, as only those
whose animals become their children can.
It was a pretty lie; the cat stayed on,
left to the streets and framed in unlit windows.
The shadows own him now, protect him too;
coat him in dark disguises only soap and light
and––oh yes––love could shed. He stalks his past,
slow-moving, locked in dreams; unwilling, still,
to call the night his home. Restless, relentless,
searching for his people. He stares into our eyes;
we do not know him. We do not take him in.