A Feline Lament
By: Matthew Battles | Categories: Poetry

 
CHOICE comes to you as if from alien ground,
Its energies unsought, its fallen tree
Unseen, the slash of light unfelt, a sound
Beyond your range of hearing, you swivel-eared
And furred, estranged from holidays and hygiene
And the inexorable dirge of long-range plans.
You lie atwitch, though swollen still serene;
In your disease the wonted chase rests ready.
The needle bound and backed, the channel drawn,
Black fur crackling with its woolen charge,
Your tenor rumble breaks, you come uncoiled:
The bluejay starts from cover — cross the lawn
at a bound — lend muscle to the urge
to close — this once the hunt will not be foiled.

     ***

Amidst the end-of-year access of mortality in culture and politics, a few friends of HiLobrow lost cat friends as well; this poem is for them. Image via the Flickr stream of the State Library of New South Wales.

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Matthew Battles, Hilobrow's cofounder, has written about language, history, and the natural world for many publications. When he makes poems, he puts them here. A fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, he's also the author of Library, An Unquiet History.