This poem was written when I was attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The story in it is essentially true, though the political beliefs expressed within the poem are no longer my own. This is an unedited version of the poem. Please feel free to provide constructive criticism!
Please bear in mind that it has been years since I have seriously written poetry and that while I would love to edit this poem to improve it, I don't consider myself a "poet" at this juncture in my life. I appreciate any honest feedback that I can get and look forward to potentially improving this piece.
Specifically I am considering making it somewhat less political and simply use it as a descriptive poem. I love this piece in particular because it reminds me of that day and the way that I felt in autumn with the sweet little cat.
furled under the tree
tail flipping from time to time
mellow and relaxed, eyes
half closed in
an expression of contentment. I have to stop to wonder
how long she's been there
and if she's ever going home.
She is thin, and looks old
beyond her years. Small,
I give her nine months, tops.
And that's what's so sad about it.
Just another child left to die. I can't just walk away
so I click my tongue
and she comes running easily
with the attitude of one
used to affection and caress.
I reach my hand out to
stroke, and the fur is soft.
Not what I had expected. It isn't faked, this feline
cry of hungry pain. Her paws
are on my thighs, begging me.
But I have nothing except
for a pouch of day-old tobacco,
and I know she doesn't want that. I can't just shoo her on her away
but there is no place for her
among the brick buildings
and so many trees you feel you
might suffocate for the extra oxygen.
I wonder if this isn't how we
fight our oppression; white
people in a white town filled with
red brick. Keep everything out
that we think we don't want.
Yet she persists. This tiny feline body,
malnurished and underfed
is stronger than I am
and than I may be
in a lifetime of petting.
There is one thing for her
out of everything that we have
forced into her small, microcosmic
feline tiger tabby world. That one thing is survival.
How are we to survive without
one another? Can one exist
without the other, or will
we crash and burn too?
Will we starve
sitting beneath a tree,
eyes half closed, the
wind ruffling our fur? Even here, opressed and forced
to starvation by the laws of man...
she is purring, a soft sound
gentle and token to her existence.
Somebody will listen.
Poetry on Amazon
My Other Poetry on Hubpages
- Paws in the Water
This is a prose poem that I wrote when I was in college. It is one of my all-time favorite pieces and I hope that you will enjoy it! Feedback is appreciated!
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