Friday, March 6, 2015

Feline in Winter by Donal Mahoney

Photo by Carol Bales
Some days you think the cat will stay till summer comes, 
this Prodigal Son you've fed for years, this feral cat
who comes and goes and comes again when hunger strikes. 
But he just eats and leaves your porch, 
despite the pillows plumped for a Sultan’s duff. 

He disappears in falling snow 
only to appear again outside your door at dawn, 
his green eyes dancing when he sees you bring 
his mound of kibble, topped with tuna, 
and his bowl of milk. Some days he mounts  

the pillows for a nap. At noon, however, 
he begins to yowl. He wants out again 
to parade triumphant down the walk, 
his tail an exclamation point. He romps 
across the snow and fits beneath the fence. 

He's gone again. Out of sight.
He plans to spend another evening  
where the feral cats hold services.  
They yowl and fight and copulate 
till hunger strikes and then 

this Prodigal Son comes back and sits 
outside your door with tail wound round
and waits for you to bring his kibble,
topped with tuna, and his bowl of milk.
Then, he's gone again. Out of sight.