De-clawed

vanilla-the-cat

From her cover

behind the euonymus,

deadly talons

lashed out.

Dogs cowered

and even people

paid homage.

Behind a screen

of grape vines,

she crept, inching,

black ninja silent,

tail beating a slow,

metronomic trance,

eyes, burning coals,

then, bam!

a small bird lay dead.

 

Now,

the deadly

killer skulks

inside the garage;

snowy tufts of hair

fall out in clumps;

mice no longer

skirt the yard;

the graveyard

of feathers

is gone.

Today,

she mews

in her refuge,

a shadow

of her former

assassin-self.

 

 

My mother-in-law,

no less vital

than the cat,

used to wield

a wooden spoon

like a wand,

conjuring up gravy

and mashed potatoes

that caused people

to moan and swoon,

bringing down the

brawny defenses

of hulking

farm workers

with rhubarb pies

and whipping cream.

 

 

Now, ancient,

like the cat,

her world is

a room

peopled with

recurring memories,

memories

of days gone by

where truth

and fiction

intermingle,

of a time

when her spatula

was a spear,

her frying pan

fortress.

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About Judy Grigg Hansen
I write poetry and nonfiction, and I am passionate about the people, places, and wildflowers of Idaho and the Northwest.

10 Responses to De-clawed

  1. Marc-André says:

    Such a sad poem but yet so good. ❤

    Mind if I share this on purrsday poetry at some point? 🙂

  2. Thank you, Jerry and Callista. Dee’s mom is 99 now, and in some ways is still herself, but in other ways a stranger.

  3. JERROLD KNIGHT says:

    Judy, beautifully done. Your poem brought memories of my father, his sister, a favorite Aunt still struggling and a much admired brother-in-law as each struggled with the AD. Best to you and Dee. Jerry and Callista

  4. wngrigg says:

    Time, the subtle thief of youth….

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