On back porch steps facing
the garden and an open field,
I’d sit next to him,
a lanky compilation of gruffness
and garrulousness, saying little
because you weren’t supposed to,
this was serious business, waiting
for the neighbor’s cats to jump
the fence. He was so fast and his aim
so sure that the rifle would catch
the cat in mid-leap before I knew
he’d pressed the trigger.
The neighbor, his son’s in-laws,
had lots of cats. My uncle, like
Robert Frost, believed in fences.
He didn’t believe in cats.
This is another poem in the series begun this week on growing up in the South, Suggested by Nancy Rosback at A Little Somethin’. Although she probably didn’t envision a poem quite like this one, which is entirely true.
Photograph: Cat Behind the Fence by Jiri Hodan via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.