Sunday, June 29, 2008

My dad's a poet

This is not exemplary of his most serious work, but it is hilarious family folklore that gets tossed around when we get together. This truly did happen. Warning to the sensitive folks: we lived on a farm, so sometimes animals died. We went through cats like we went through laundry, and this particular epithet was for an orange longhair we had named Garfield (so original). Family folklore refers to him as 'flatcat' since this incident.



LEGACY

nobody noticed garfield missing
a wild orange tabby
who tiptoed along balance beams
in a maze of barn rafters

the dogs hated his arrogance
in their dreams
they scrambled through trusses
and had their way with him

but bad judgement flattened him instead
several sets of passing tires
over time
turned him into a cardboard cutout

someone going by
grabbed his tail and
flung him like a frisbee
into the bush

weeks later
garfield appeard on the lawn
beside sleeping dogs
who sometimes rose
to snatch the pelt in their teeth
and shake it

for years
tufts of orange cat fur
bits of chewed hide are
scrounged out of grass clippings
returned to the dogs' place
on the lawn

in remembrance


-Al Smith

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