........ another dead cat poem

As a conservative old man
to whom your needs and rights were one
(regular meals at decent times
digested slowly in the sun)

by eight o'clock you'd wait no more
but knock outright with blunted paw
in just rebuke of morning sloth
like any human at the door.

You knew the limits of your sway
and walked them several times a day
in grim patrol along the wall
to warn all trespassers away

but seldom ventured into what
lay past our vegetable plot
until you crossed the boundary
between what is and what is not,

where the unformed and obsolete
in unimagined numbers beat
against the edge of entity
with insubstantial wings and feet.

Though one or two may flicker through
the rustling throng and for a few
beleaguered moments occupy
substantial form, as me or you,

once out there's no return, so when
at eight o'clock we hear a thin
persistent scratching on the door
we can't come down and let you in.


© Brian Fewster,
Published in Poetry From The Spinning Room, 1999

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