The life and death of barn cats
| Grey Mama Cat|
I passed over an animal
so run over
you couldn't tell what color she had been.
Mama cat didn't come running
when I opened the door that night.
Born on a burgundy sweatshirt
in Melony's closet
brought to me five weeks later by Melony's father
one of seven kittens
oozing from a cardboard box.
she came running anyway
whenever the door was opened
brushing up against boots and pant legs
lolling and writhing
in heat for a touch.
She produced eighteen offspring in her lifetime
three generations of clear-eyed mewing babies
some didn't make it
farm life being cruel like that
others wandered off before their eyes opened
adventurous ones like Jakey sometimes just never came home
Sidney, Gretchen, Woodrow, Oscar, Cal and the others
wait on the porch
for the door to open
her round-bellied legacy.