The Cat of Habit
The cat of habitknows the place by heart
or at least by space, scent, direction, bulk,
by shadow and light
moonlight starlight sunlight
and where to nest in each
with a three-focussed shut eye
on who or what’s coming and going
on the earth and in the sky
and distantly, not present, the rays of inkling
shining within the furred skull.
The cat of habit curls her spine
in the most windless the most warm place
shivering a little with, ‘It’s mine’,
an ear-twitch, tail-flip
of permanent ownership.
The cat of habit
has the place marked,
the joint cased.
Feed and sleep and feed
and half-heartedly catch
moths and mice and mostly watch
hourlong for the passing witch
for many, unseen, pass
through the rooms of the house and outside,
under the trees and in the grass.
Storms Will Tell: Selected Poems by Janet Frame is published by Bloodaxe Books