Monday, May 5, 2014

A pantoum by Katherine Simmons


The Day Mother Gave the Cat Away
by Katherine Simmons

The day that she gave the cat away
she felt so desperate and bone-draining tired—
for yes, a young mother’s fatigue and dismay
bears fruit in deeds that are poorly inspired.

She felt so desperate and achingly tired.
The kids wouldn’t nap and their moods became sour,
bearing fruit in deeds that were poorly inspired.
Her whole house declined to a mad swirling howl.

The kids wouldn’t nap and their moods became sour.
The sweet baby shrieked and flailed in display.
The whole house declined to a mad swirling howl.
The pet snake escaped and was getting away.

The mad baby screamed and put on a display.
Sister pinched her balloon and laughed when it burst.
The pet snake escaped and slithered away
across sister’s lap and up under her shirt.

Sister grabbed the balloon and squeezed ’til it burst.
They giggled with glee at the runaway snake,
as it crossed sister’s lap and hid in her shirt.
Mother sighed with despair at the state of the place.

They giggled with glee at the tickles of snake
and cheerios smashed on top of their hair.
Mom cried with despair at the mess in the place.
The milk toppled over and dripped down the chair.

Cheerios smashed and rubbed in their hair—
Mother sat down and wept in hopeless dismay.
The milk toppled over and dripped down the chair
the day that she gave poor tabby away.

Bio: “I returned to my home state several years ago, where I have had the good fortune to encounter other poets from whom to learn and with whom to share the art. I enjoy the Indiana woodlands, my Australian Shepherd, the changing seasons, and oatmeal sourdough bread.”

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