Stalking Cats, the poem I entered the Aesthetica competition

9 Mar

Stalking Cats

He prowls the neighbourhood with velvet tread,

The cat-catcher, falsely leisurely air, head

High and alert, seeking opportunities for a fresh seduction.

 

Behind a car wheel by the estate

A tiny dandelion face with a flyaway mane

Responds to his coaxing, creeps down the lane.

But she’s not sure.

Lacks an adult self-assurance, not quite tame.

He backs up, shoulders splayed disarmingly,

Palms up, You need fear no harm from me.

Turning his back he starts walking away

Pausing every few steps to glance over his shoulder.

She is following his progress in the gutter,

Stalking along, a little comical in her

Oversized puffball coat.

 

They flirt shyly, both playing hard to get.

He sits on the pavement and leans back, arms outstretched.

She watches with wide eyes

Frozen in startlement.

A groaning, rumbling giant of a Land Rover

Passes, pauses,

Enters the driveway between them

Crushing their fledgling romance in the dust.

Another of those lost causes.

 

He keeps walking,

Finds a curvy white-pawed tabby dawdling along a wall.

Meandering alongside, one-step forward, one-step back,

They intertwine with arched spines and arch looks

She closes her eyes under his caress; he has her, all

Her smug self-satisfied feline contentment.

An undulating purring wave of animal sentiment.

 

After the act they are mildly embarrassed

They avoid eye contact, slink off

In opposite directions.

Why does he chase these fumblings on

Street-corners? Gropes in the shadows,

Strokes which please the moment

But leave their fickle hearts untouched?

 

Well at least, stalking cats, you don’t have to

Think of a pick-up line. They are never

Interested in your conversation.

 

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