VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Jonathan Bracker

Two Things My Cat Does 

Henry loves being let out
Into the hall of the apartment house
to collapse and roll over the carpet.

He looks up; I stoop
To fingering
Henry’s stomach.  Each time.

Whenever Henry cleans, a leg
Shoots up to wave like the arm

Of a boy in grammar school
Silently mouthing the words

“Call on me, teacher!
I know the answer.” 


My cat, that I have let out into the hall 

Of this apartment house to scamper and investigate

Before I bring him back, gazes toward me

When I return once more to pick him up.

He has enjoyed his reacquaintance with the long carpet

Yet is quite willing to accede when I playfully scoop him up

With one hand – trusting, whichever way he is grasped: 

Hanging or upside-down.  (I use both hands if he is upside-down.) 

A Little Bit Of Drama

I had forgotten to pour enough kibble
Into Henry’s bowl
Before going to bed.

At about five o’clock in the morning,
Henry jumped up on my desk
To knock some object over to wake me up.

Food provider, I grumpily had to do
What should have been done before,
Then returned to bed to try to sleep until eight.

Now, having breakfasted, my little black cat came
To lie next to my getting ready-to-doze body
So as to be silently companionable until doing something else.

I was aware of this, and pleased.
Henry no longer moved;
He was pretending to be a loon on the surface of a lake.

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