Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Inside Job

Regular visitors to "Chosen Words" are aware that I don't often engage in structured verse.

I enjoy reading well-crafted rhyme, but I find the process of making it difficult and frustrating.

This poem is an effort to reconstruct a minor crime that I became witness to as a child. You may notice that some of the details of the poem vary from the official version of what really happened:

We had a screened-in back porch, and a lot of cats. The porch was sometimes, but not always, off-limits to the cats.

Naturally, when my grandparents discovered the cats sitting on the inside looking out, I ... the most innocent of young children ... was the prime suspect.

I had not let the cats in, really. While there was no apparent punishment for my "crime," I was determined to clear my name, and clear it I did.

With careful watching and waiting, I caught the real culprit in the act.

One of our cats ... not "Fuzzy," I hasten to add ... had learned that if he sank his claws into the opening edge of the screen door, he could pull it open just enough for his buddies ... and him ... to slip inside.

I showed my grandparents this feline felon in action ... and we lived happily ever after.

Today's art? 

I know, it doesn't really serve to illustrate today's poem, but I don't seem to have any pictures of six cats peering out the window.

The art is a creation by Grandson Thomas. It  just sort of popped out at me again today, so there it is.

The poem:


When we got home the cats were all
At the front window, looking out;
Six, counting Fuzzy, standing tall,
And purring to themselves, no doubt.
Picture perfect, but then chagrin.
"They were supposed to be waiting
Outside," I heard myself grating.
"That rat, Fuzzy, has let them in."
© 2005

(originally published in Grit magazine)

Today's word: chagrin

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