It’s silly to be bothered at a time like this
about not seeing the neighbor’s cat for several days
when she normally lies in wait for slow birds
under the bush in my front yard
right around dusk every evening; nonetheless,
when I see the old man who owns the building
out on his porch I ask and learn that the cat’s
doing fine as he knows, still on the third floor,
still leaving dead mice on his back stoop almost nightly.
I shift into an alternate silliness around my concern
that it’s something I’ve done that keeps her away
from my yard, scratching my head almost to raw blood
trying to determine what ritual I must have altered
to shift the balance and drive her away: did my cursing
of her near-unerring aim for dullard sparrows
and unthinking mourning doves have an effect
beside making me feel better as a defender
of the sanctuary I thought I’d made here?
When I think of how little I recall day to day now,
when I think of how much I forget, I’m nearly certain
this is my fault. That it is the natural order of things
that some lapse of mine made the world change. That
the rest of the world goes on — safer birds still feeding,
still-deadly cat having moved on to steadier hunting ground.
What I thought was the way of the world is fading, moving away
Silly? It is likely. But prove me
wrong, please. Please,
prove me wrong.
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