Thursday, October 24, 2019

An Allegory in Need of a Target

Bright blue patches of dead lizards
And sacrificed tails speckle the concrete
Of my rented back porch where the cat
Brings her kills to play with them, although
She has no taste for the scampering lizards
With their cyan-colored guts and scales.
There are no rodents in this subdivision, not
So far as she can find, and the lizards, which
I love and which give me joy to watch, just
As she does, if not as much, do scamper.
Their trick of the breakaway tails, effective
For distracting and escaping birds, works
Not at all on her. She tosses the lizards
In the air, ignoring the tails and the blue,
Until they stop twitching and she gets bored.
Then her black shape glides away, to find
Some other twitching thing, preferably
One alive, ideally one edible, a mammal
Like her, or a fluffy little bird, but anything
That seems to move—a leaf, a spot of light,
A dead cockroach shifted by a team of ants—
Will do. She’s not hungry. She’s well fed, but
Her ancestors survived by feeling this need
To hunt and practice hunting, even when
They had no particular urgency to feed.
I come home, sigh at the carnage, and sweep.

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