Thursday, June 07, 2007

One of the many reasons I like my job...

Isaac has instituted "Poem of the Day" for our customer service department. So we each send one, taking turns.

This one is from last week. Very much enjoyed Davey's selection.


by Thomas P. Lynch

One of these days she will lie there and be dead.

I’ll take her out back in a garbage bag

and bury her among my sons’ canaries,

the ill-fated turtles, a pair of angelfish:

the tragic and mannerly household pests

that had the better sense to take their leaves

before their welcomes or my patience had worn thin.

For twelve long years I’ve suffered this damned cat

while Mike, my darling middle son, himself

twelve years this coming May, has grown into

the tender if quick-tempered manchild

his breeding blessed and cursed him to become.

And only his affection keeps this cat alive

though more than once I’ve threatened violence—

the brick and burlap in the river recompense

for mounds of furballs littering the house,

choking the vacuum cleaner, or what‘s worse:

shit in the closets, piss in the planters, mice

that winter indoors safely as she sleeps

curled about a table leg, vigilant

as any knickknack in a partial coma.

But Mike, of course, is blind to all of it—

the gray angora breed of arrogance,

the sluttish roar, the way she disappears for days

sex-desperate once or twice a year,

urgently ripping her way out the screen door

to have her way with anything that moves

while Mike sits up with tuna fish and worry,

crying into the darkness, “Here kitty kitty,”

mindless of her whorish treacheries

or of her crimes against upholsteries—

the sofas, love seats, wingbacks, easy chairs

she’s puked and mauled into dilapidation.

I have this reoccurring dream of driving her

deep into the desert east of town

and dumping her out there with a few days’ feed

and water. In the dream, she’s always found

by kindly tribespeople who eat her kind

on certain holy days as a form of penance.

God knows, I don’t know what he sees in her.

Sometimes he holds her like a child in his arms

rubbing her underside until she sounds

like one of those battery powered vibrators

folks claim to use for the ache in their shoulders.

And under Mike’s protection she will fix her

indolent green-eyed gaze on me as if

to say: Whaddaya gonna do about it, Slick,

the child loves me and you love the child.

Truth told, I really ought to have her fixed

in the old way with an airtight alibi,

a bag of Redi-mix and no eyewitnesses.

But one of these days she will lie there and be dead.

And choking back loud hallelujahs, I’ll pretend

a brief bereavement for my Michael’s sake,

letting him think as he has often said

“Deep down inside you really love her don’t you Dad?”

I’ll even hold some cheerful obsequies

careful to observe God’s never-failing care

for even these, the least of His creatures,

making some mention of a cat-heaven where

cat-ashes to ashes, cat-dust to dust

and the Lord gives and the Lord has taken away.

Thus claiming my innocence to the end,

I’ll turn Mike homeward from that wicked little grave

and if he asks, we’ll get another one because

all boys need practice in the arts of love

and all boys’ aging fathers in the arts of rage.

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