WHAT CATS KNOW

The neighbor’s Siamese
all smoke, beige fur, padded feet
appears in the abandoned yard
next door to torment my puppy.
She cleans herself and watches.
How does she know not to wander
into the busy street out front
or Interstate behind
to be flattened by van or semi?

What makes her sit instead
and groom, blue-eyed Charybdis,
amid weed-shrouded lilacs
while vehicles vahroom past and
exhaust wafts through the air
stained with scent of fries and
big Macs from across town?

Dogs know none of this.

STILL

STILL

Five a.m.
The old house is still
but for the hum of interstate.
My ancient Scottie drowses on the bed.
The puppy rests on pillows at its head.
Elsa sleeps, blanket in hand,
upstairs in her four poster.
Her parents down the hall sleep on foam.
The Airedale and poodle, little dog and big
rest at their feet.

My coffee cup warms my palms.
The grandfather clock’s about to chime.
Today has yet to be.
Its promises unmet – dreams undreamed.
The quiet exhalation of trees
makes sweet the air
before the day begins to breathe.