Joyce S. Brown
I’m a retired English teacher (high school and college) with 53 years of marriage, two children, four grandchildren, one dog. I’ve had poems in Poetry, The American Scholar, The Tennessee Review, Yankee, and others!
The sound could have been
seagulls, a mewing we heard
while carrying groceries
from car to beach-house kitchen.
Back from a swim, we found
Uncle Joe under our jacked-up car,
removing bolts with a rusty wrench.
Uncle Joe, who didn’t even like cats,
reached his rough hand through
the wheel-well where a cat,
bird-small, stood wedged
between two metal plates.
Joe pulled; the cat cried
but didn’t budge. Children
with beach balls stopped to look.
Neighbors peered from porches.
The sheriff, pit bull man, leaned
over the open hood: “Just snap
the neck and yank it out,” he said
to Joe, who said, “I’m giving
it another try; this cat made it
ninety miles stowaway.” And Joe,
anointing the miserable cat
with olive oil, eased it through
the passage. We handled the cat
like a newborn, amazed by the rigors
of journeys chosen and survived.
©2016 Joyce S. Brown
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