Fiction and Cat Friends


Buried my nose in pages until

Told to go out to play…

I wasn’t adept enough to hide it.

Eyes made sure the books stayed in the house

But that didn’t mean my imagination was stuck inside.

Imagination and Mouser the cat were my best friends.

The acre lot was a vast adventure for us:

Whether by stick horse,

tunnels through Golden Rod

Or climbing shade trees bordering the field.


I have been many characters in thought…

Partly in word but bits of fear hold back a few deeds of daring.

I knew these fiction friends

Better than my closest cousins or school chums.

Rural outskirts meant too far to walk for play time.

Invisible friends – I could count on them to be there;

They could count on me being there

And of course, the cat was reliable too…


It’s the birthday of poet Anne Sexton, born in Newton, Massachusetts (1928). She said: “As a young child, I was locked in my room until the age of five. After that, at school, I did not understand the people who were my size or even the larger ones. At home, or away from it, people seemed out of reach. Thus I hid in fairy tales and read them daily like a prayer-book. Any book was closer than a person.”


Eating Time


Errands ate her time:

Post office, bank, second bank,

Refuel the car, supplies, groceries…

She was avoiding the completed.

Filling the day with necessary unnecessary

to-do made her important.

A skilled busy bee, her antennae

Were on the alert for her next makeover.

Collecting people to refurbish was her calling.

Afterwards, whether successful or a total failure,

The revamped were dropped as inconsequential.

Moving to the next rescue,

Her overhaul subjects ate her time.



Birthday Cake

Sparkler grit covered the white butter cream frosting;

That image is permanently embedded in my mind.

Over time I’ve forgotten whose birthday it was…

I just remember my Aunt Edna holding the cake aloft;

The ignited sparklers illuminated her path

Across the yard between the cottages.

I’m not sure what possessed her to use them instead of candles.

Of course, she was probably smashed and in a drunken stupor.

Something I didn’t know much about as the family didn’t

Talk about those things

There went my first successful vanilla cake…

Held high,

It left a trail of blue smoke that faded into the twilight.

I laughed, slightly…

All the family seemed to love the joke;

Carrying the blaze into Grandma’s cottage,

Strains of Happy Birthday drifted out with the final sputters.

It was easy to slip away to my favorite haunt…

Everyone was inside eating Aunt Marge’s cake

Since mine was thrown out the back door.

Among the garnet loaded granite,

I huddled as night descended,

I didn’t need a falling star to wish on;

Dad’s voice and starlight reached me through the hemlock bows…


It hurt then…

Doing Grammy’s yard work…

My brother sat and watched television.

Sweaty and flushed after trimming,

Raking, struggling to push the lawn mower,

I finally finished the chores.

Five years younger than him,

I was a hard worker.

Grammy gave him a dollar;

She gave me a quarter.

Inequity was born.