Poem: Strays


The stray cat looks up at you open the door.
You do the worst of things.
You pet it as you walk out to the truck,
dropping off some supplies for the studio.

They are stacking up, those supplies.
It has been a pair of weeks since you were there
and possibilities pile up, one on the other
like ice floes in the winter.

They lay in the passenger seat,
waiting for you to feel well enough
to stand long enough to paint,
something you do better standing up than sitting.

You add the supplies to the pile and go back in,
petting the stray absently one more time
as you return to the kitchen
and fresh coffee.

You have a weakness for strays,
having been one a time or two in your own life,
unowned, uncared for, a little broken
and left to your own devices.

You have a weakness for them,
but learned long ago you cannot save them all.
You cannot surround yourself with them. It is not healthy.
Sooner or later, you will find this one a home.

The woman you love hands you a cup of coffee.
and the morning’s ritual begins.
It makes you smile,
glad to be a stray no longer.

About this poem

Yeah, that one is a stray that moved onto our porch over the past few months. Yeah, there have been times I felt like a stray. Maybe you have too?


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