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.
I love the poem "Mending Wall" by Frost -- my students and I chuckled at the tone and enjoyed the subtle humor --- but also the challenge. I so appreciated Frost as a poet -- he's approachable for hesitant readers of poetry, and for those who want to be delve and analyze, he served that up as well.
edit -- for those who want to instead of "want to be"
Hate it when I do that.
He shot cats?! A southern version of justice?
Oh, i'm glad i don't know what to expect, because i am surprisingly delighted! This one caught me smiling. Love the words...esp. a lanky compilation of gruffness
and garrulousness, saying little...
& good choice of photo.
I'm glad Nancy suggested this ... poor cats!
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