Today's poem is by Stephen Burt

        after Baudelaire

The indifferent, the out of love, people so bored with their work
that they canít stop talking about it, the revved-up teens
unwilling to gaze out the window—none would spare

a minute for the diffident, darkeared,
wide-eyed cat blinking up out of sleep as she cleans
one more foreclaw, then hides her head in our chair,

tongue slightly out, as usual: more rude
to human beings than any human being
should be. She wants to get spanked.

Her brothers dash off but go limp if you catch them fleeing,
then track us down after half-hearted attempts to hide
or settle on us as we sleep; thatís how they keep warm.

They see that we see that they do not wish to be thanked.
They hiss every morning . . . so easy to know what they need
and set it before them, and know we have done them no harm.

Copyright © 2013 Stephen Burt All rights reserved
from The Literary Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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