Poem: Lady Takes a Bath

Six studies of a cat 1765-70 Black and white chalk on grey paper, 310 x 447 mm Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


Lady Takes a Bath

The answer to my question rests in the tone of my cat giving herself a bath.  Sandpaper tongue smooths out the rough edges of her frame.  Saliva holds down the rebel cow-licks.  Lying in sunbeams of the living room, atop the paisley cushion on the file cabinet, this is her space.

Loudly she processes every section.  I hear her over my reading.

Today she investigates those piles of apples on the lawn, is startled by the next two plopping into wild grass tuffs.  The path of the speckled moth is discovered leading to the Black-Eyed Susan, blooms frozen by overnight frost, crinkled and breaking, in the next door yard.

Bees still bounce on the lavender row by the driveway. The lady takes a dust bath to the tune of hums collecting last of the season’s nectar.  Now, it’s early evening.  She stretches out fully on the braided kitchen rug ready for sleep.  I envy her.

-by Shannon P. Laws