Poems by William C. Watterson

CAT FALL

    I.
Outside
the feral mother won't let me near
though when I call she hears me;
she never quite finishes her food.
She covers the bowl with grass,
then arranges sticks and stones
around it in patterns
I do not understand.
Only she knows what she means.

     II.
Inside
the paws of the kitten who survived
explore the keyboard
of an old piano,
striking notes randomly
like a row by Schoenberg
never to be repeated.
Music at the edge,
at the edge music
which will not harden into form.
A gust rattles the windowpane.
On the roof the rain is playing
its small silver triangle.

    III.
Yellow eyes stare up into my eyes,
their vacancy
unwordable as song . . .

Links:

Hear "Cat Fall" scored for voices and small instruments by Elliot Schwartz, world premier, December 2004, performed by the Bowdoin College Chamber Choir. audio (4.3 MB MP3 file)

Bowdoin Chamber Choir Hits a High Note, With Help From Friends »

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