Cats and Dogs

What the dog saw
was a ghost.
What the cat saw
was a ghost
with wings
that leaves off hovering
to curtsy.
The dog’s own shadow
might make him think
of the possibilities of wings and things
but he could never see them.
The cat’s smug blink
went right over his head
like a pat
or a good boy.
He is content
with his own eyes.

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3 Comments on “Cats and Dogs”

  1. Vivian Says:

    This made me smile just when I needed it!!

  2. Simone Says:

    Whether intentional or not, there appears to be an equation of ghosts and shadows in this poem that intrigues me. I just finished reading Big Frog. This poem and that one both use imagery of animals to unfold their meanings. I’m wondering about the inspiration for your choice to use such imagery. Your poems, overall, feel quite concrete, though that quality seems to be a clever segue to its metaphysical concerns.


  3. Originally I was captured by a book title I saw, “What the Dog Saw” and imagining my own dog and how he thinks and sees, and the difference between our cats and dogs. They look at you in such different ways. And somehow the poem crystallized around it.
    The concrete is always connected to the metaphysical. I take it as my calling to try to see the connection. Jesus’ parables are the perfection of such discernment and justification for that kind of discernment as well. I really want to be a writer of parables, as nearly as I can get.
    Your comment made me realize that for the first time.


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