We Are Lucky

From Refuge, 2017.

We Are Lucky

The cat walks in
stretches himself out.
Middle of the kitchen floor.
Dinnertime. Ours.
We step around him
taking out the plates
putting pots on the stove
the thought of moving him along
never ever going to form
not in our house
because we have
A cat
who lies on the kitchen floor
and purrs.


The Gray Tabby Cat

From Rearrange, 2018.

The Gray Tabby Cat

the gray tabby cat
No words in the upward glance
of his gold eye
but I know

the gray tabby cat
Crowds in beside me
confiding paw placed over my arm
and I know

the gray tabby cat
Chews at a claw
spreads his toes and cleans them
unqualified perfection
that I know

the gray tabby cat.


Code-Named Patience

From Rearrange, 2018.

Code-Named Patience

The cat sprawls on the kitchen floor.
Fills it up.
You could think
he has no aim in mind
but the pleasure of being
why not stretch out
and we step over him.

You would be
so wrong. He intends to pretend
but the air vibrates around him
he is
one hundred percent alert
deceiving no one
who knows him

including the mouse
he has cornered
under the stove.



The Cat, Plain and Simple

From the collection Enough For a Book, published in 2016.

The Cat, Plain and Simple

The cat passed along
the brown shiny linoleum
I felt the cold floor beneath his feet as he walked.
I got up and followed: I could not help myself.
The cat
circled around and into
a stack of empty cardboard boxes
pushed one over
jumped to a filing cabinet
and never gave me a look.


Checked In

From the collection published in 2017, Generous With the Details.

Checked In

The cat fits
just exactly
on the pillow
of the bed
in the guest room
which is why
he chooses to believe
I have said to him
at some time or another
Be my guest
and settle in
glaring at me
fur ruffled from sleep
until I back out of the room
for how I’ve intruded
on a guest
even though he lives here
it is of course his decision about that


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“Upstairs at Home”, acrylics, 2018

Haiku Group Library and Linoleum Floor

From Generous With the Details, collection published 2017.

Haiku Group Library and Linoleum Floor

Linoleum floor
Faded squares of gray and green
plus one beige stand-in

Polished once a month
for the past sixty-one years
Linoleum floor

Stepping square to square
the cat makes his silent way
along the tiled aisle

Over the decades
heavy shelves and restless chairs
stipple the tile floor

Linoleum floor
ready to give back heel taps
as good as they come

Heel taps receding
down the tiled aisle to lights off
Floor in dark silence


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This cat was a library faithful at Chestnut Hill College for some time. Photo taken in 2016.

Haiku 60-64

Haiku from a long time ago. Numbers 60 and 61 refer to our cat Fred Sherman, who died in 2001.

Before we knew it
Our old friend had said good-bye-
Too quick for our tears.

I thought I saw you
Skitter around the corner
To greet me – but no.

Oak leaves falling down
Acorns scattered on the ground
Feet form autumn sounds

This world’s no rest stop.
So get a thicker skin, girl.
Or else, what? Move out?

I’ve only known them
Three winters, those trees, that’s all –
But I respect them.


From Look Winter in the Face, published in 2015.


The snow falls and
snow-covered surfaces and blunted shapes
and colors dulled to vague
populate the grayed-out everything outside the window
The everything that’s buried beneath the snow.
Who would even know
what it was that was there
or what will emerge when the snow melts
Who, indeed
and all this is going on
while the cat sits in front of the window cleaning his paws
chewing hard at those nails of his

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