Flat and Crouching

I lit a stick of incense and the cat went mad -
charging around the room like a whippet.

I didnít put the incense out, the smell was better than
stale socks or the wet-dog smell of damp washing.

I didnít try to calm the cat,
I let it out the window instead and watched him

run next door ears flat and crouching.
The incense becomes stronger as I close the

window and I remember a childrenís party where the
smell of disinfectant was no match

for the smell of weed - creeping
through the room like

an old manís fingers clawing for
purpose as he tries to

rise from the chair. He wins, like the stench of weed
he is still strong.

I wished for my mum to come and
collect me, as I still do, and

think that Iíve been
wishing for that all my life.

The incense still burns,
the cat returns meowing at the window,

his white fur vivid against the
holly bush behind him.

Andrea Bowd

If you have any comments on this poem,  Andrea Bowd  would be pleased to hear from you.