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Feral Cats

by Jeffrey Essmann


It skulked along the cottage road

(the one who gave birth in the shed);

beneath its fur its shoulders showed,

and in its mouth was something dead.

Yet still it hissed and ran ahead,

but turned with eyes as blank and blue

as arctic ice, then quickly fled

to feed its monstrous little crew.

I wondered if it ever knew

a nap upon a homemade quilt

—or had I just this image built

to ward off what I sensed was true:

it's lost all taste for being tame;

it doesn't purr; it has no name.