Black Watch

The tree that shades my resting pets out back
Has leaves of green and pink, and one that’s black.
With autumn’s breath the pastels curl and fall
To quilt their beds; the black won’t stir at all,
But keeps obsidian vigil on the bare
And bony branch above the sleeping pair,
Slim shelter from the ills that winters bring,
Until pastel relief arrives in spring.


Who’s A Good Boy?

Cats and dogs and hamsters, too–
A household pet is good for you.
They lower your blood pressure and
Will act as if they understand
Your rants and random cris de coeur,
And that’s, in fact, what pets are for:
To love just you without condition.
(Also, to poo without permission.)

Labor Day, Weakened

Like blades of green upon my lawn
This long, hot summer’s almost gone
The teachers heading back to class
Are braced for attitude and sass
(And that’s just from the faculty)
The only milestone for me
Now that the nest is truly bare
Is air where once were clouds of hair
And dander from departed pets
The summer’s passed; not yet, regrets

And Then There Were None

They’re boarding up the cathouse on our street.
These sixteen years the institution’s thrived,
Enshrouded now in fog borne on the feet
Of she from whom the nickname was derived.
A passerby no whisker would have turned;
It looked to be an ordinary house
And just by happenstance might one have learned
That here lived one who’d terrify a mouse.
Not that a rat had anything to fear
From she who reigned within, but reputation
Counts for much, as Puss-in-Boots made clear,
And rare were they who’d risk Julification.
She sleeps tonight upon the very spot
Where calicos all go, before they’re not.