Today's poem is by Frannie Lindsay


My father who has no feelings
for cats, has taken one in. When nobody's listening
he calls her Grief, but insists

she has no name. When I come, I knock
on his door at the back of the house, and the latch twists
and there's little Grief,

skinny-assed nobody, making eye contact for one
scant second, then vanishing.
Then there's him

in the fleece-lined slippers he has me replace
each Christmas, same corduroy trousers scuffed
and rolled up, the Peanuts sweatshirt tucked in.

And the shuffle, that shuffle. He's not the one
I'm trying to love, perching my hands on the humps
of his shoulders, blinking a flimsy kiss into the whiskeyed air

near his cheek. It's the damned beast
he won't bother naming, week after week: she's shedding
on everything, she's in wretched shaped: no bowl,

no water, no place to sleep.

Copyright © 2005 Frannie Lindsay All rights reserved
from New Zoo Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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