Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Chuck Taylor: Mad Love

to say a word for our common tabby cat,

to say a word for Oliver, senile now,

my friends say, inside always now too,

after the latest flap with a pack of dogs

chasing him to a hiding place it took

three days for him to come out of,

old gimpy arthritic cat who we found

in the garage after we bought the house,

cat who we named Spook at first because

you rarely saw the ninja warrior streaking

from the food dish we set under the

ping-pong table, but now an old purrer

of laps and sleeping on your head in bed,

Oliver, who has chosen me, out of some

cat irrational need, to love best,

though I never feed, though I have a

backyard dog I take for country walks

and have never liked cats, Oliver, lumbering

across the floor, those large doe eyes

looking up in mad love, begging an ear rub,

a neck scratch, Oliver, Oliver, you could love

my good mate, the one who bathes you

the one who pulls off your fleas

and trims your nails–but no, it’s me

and only me, could it be my fabulous

finger technique?–come on, give in,

the mute glowing cat orbs say,

let me on your lap, take this broken

love and learn to tolerate

so you learn to love–

for you are broken too, eh?

and mad like me for love


Copyright 2019 Chuck Taylor

Photo: Adobestock

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