What Do Cats Know?
“Scat,” I said to the uninvited feline
who’d slunk over the tiles I’d placed
securely near the fence that separates
my yard from hers.
She jumped and raced for the opening
she’d discovered between our yards, spitting
anger at my un-neighborly plan to cheat
her of the rewards of being a predator.
My goal was honorable. Gorgeous tanagers
had arrived flashing orange bodies with bold
black crowns and white stripped wings,
diving to claim the jelly and oranges set like a
King’s feast on the oriole’s feeder. Modest females flew in with muted yellow bellies and black wings that sported similar stripes. They fought for a place at the feeder and
for two weeks gained weight before my eyes.
They flew away today, resuming their migration
without a word of thanks and no promise they’d return.
The cat came back and stared with accusing eyes as if it were my fault they’d left. What do cats know?
When did the creatures who stumbled out of the seas
decide that time should be measured by the rising and
setting of the sun?
When did that calculated space become a day?
When did that day become divided into hours that bind
us to a ruling schedule not to be ignored?
When did man decide that eight hours each day must be set aside
for tedious work that garners coins to pay for food and bedding?
Who first placed a banded wristwatch on his arm to remind the world
that minutes are flying by...run, run?
Who first marked that calendar to memorialize the day one breathes____
"Posh" on the ones who bridled us with timekeeping.
What happened to the lumbering sun
that rolled across the sky all summer
too self absorbed today to notice the
browning grass and tree leaves left
behind, asleep on nature’s death beds?
An orange globe, it sits behind dark clouds
and ignores the chilly breeze that
whispers though the trees choosing
dancing partners--- red and yellow---then
dropping them in piles on the earth below,
dressing tree limbs in skeleton costumes
to frighten trick-or-treaters.
Someone should tell the sun it’s much
too early to take leave of summer when
only yesterday we cast aside our winter coats
and said goodbye to snow and icicles then
planted gardens eager to share zucchini
with neighbors, who returned our largess
with plumbs and apples from their orchards.
Clouds thicken up above hiding the sun who
laughs, refusing to take blame for
Mother Nature’s speedy travel schedule.
“Put on your coats,” it cajoles, “and be on
your way.” We grumble like naughty children,
trying to remember what fun it was to skate
on ice while catching snowflakes on our tongues.