“I Saw You Take the Cat’s Head”

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I Saw You Take the Cat’s Head
Bob Cohen

I saw you take the cat’s head
With your hand, all fingers working
Down to the bone through fur;
Then two other fingers, thumb and forefinger
Lit on one ear, stopped a moment,
And proceeded to turn it inside out,
Exposing the labyrinthine gulleys full of silty brown.
The first touch with your probing Q-tip
And she started in your hand, but you held fast,
And gentle-talked her into submission.
You went in, and in again
Until the brown stuff hung upon the cotton.
“Look what we got, Munchkin! Now
Was that so bad?”

The cat, released, walks away
Ungrateful; I go back to my book,
Brimming with gratitude.

Home at My Typewriter: Selected Poems, Bethlehem: BAPL Books, 2018.

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