CATS ARE FOR POETRY
With apologies to Billy Collins
At a writer’s conference,
a famous poet dared claim
that dogs were for poetry
and cats were for prose.
He made the generalization
not because it was gospel
or because he believed it.
He wanted to get a rise
out of a passive audience
poised on his every word.
Mama told us the story afterwards,
how she had stood and complained
that cats were indeed for poetry,
or at least her perfect pentad,
for she has cultured us extensively.
The wise man briefly smiled,
confessing his claim was false.
Dogs aren’t for poetry at all.
Though he’s fond of the beasts,
he knows they only love books
for the soft leather edges
they chew when he’s away,
using the pages they tear out
to clean their filthy teeth.
The man tried to mask his emotion,
but Mama could see his struggle.
The coup de grâce makes him cry.
No matter the home he provides,
he must bribe his beasts with biscuits
before they’ll listen to his work.