I wrote this poem nearly forty years ago, give or take a decade. But it’s April, National Poetry Month, and I thought I’d drag out a few old favorites of mine. My late cat Hibiscus makes a cameo appearance in this poem. He was a long-haired gray tabby, with caramel colored strips on his face, a magnificent animal. His spirit endures.
He’s doing it again. That snotty little kid from next door has knocked two--no three--slats from our ‘good neighbor’ fence with the handle of a broom. I saw him do it. And now they’re coming the fairies they’re seeping through the hole in the fence blazing a trail between the twin hydrangeas past the peony and the ferns and wherever they step with their sapphire shoes nothing grows the lupine seeds never sprout the pinks wither and die. Quick!--sprinkle rose petals on the doorstep lest they get inside and sour the milk. My cat sees them; he’s racing toward them across the lawn but the sticky sword-shaped leaves of the yarrow stalk reach out and snatch a clump of his gray fur. The fairies laugh. He’s a portly feline; he waddles. In the darkening summer twilight I sit on the steps my notebook on my knees. The telephone pole on the corner bisects the full moon and I know they are coming with their satin eyes to salt my dreams with the vision of a man with long dark hair and eyes that crinkle when he smiles. His movements are graceful. He reaches to take my right arm, but I fight him every time. It’s all the fault of that kid next door. If he were my kid I wouldn’t let him get away with stuff like that. Photo by Aleksandra Boguslawska on Unsplashed