Today's prompt over at Poetic Asides was to write a poem about an object. Immediately, I thought of a salt shaker. (There is a shaker on the cover of my copy of Pablo Neruda's Ode to Common Things.) But as much as I love salt, the shaker was not an evocative image for me.
Then the cat began to get restless, which means that the cat began to get into trouble. I thought about what might make him happy, and I had my image.
It came with 11 others,
a small white mouse alone
on the kitchen floor.
For now, it has two red eyes,
two pink ears, and its own leather tail.
All of these may come off
in a day. It will fray to a wad
of soft and battered fur
and still the cat will spring
like an acrobat, body twisting, chase
this catnip prey
as if it ran by itself,
The rest of the package
stays in the drawer,
and the cat knows where that is
just as he knows I keep
extras in my pockets. He crouches,
tense, as soon as I reach my hand in
(even I just want a tissue
or a note I wrote,
even if the mouse I threw before
sits no more than six inches from him).
He is obsessed with his wealth
of mice just like this one,
and they disappear.
Somewhere in this house
is his abundance.