from the vault: an rdg poem

Our household is under siege: we've all come down with some sort of hacking cough, laryngitis, feverish colds. So I am cheating and pulling up an oldie but goodie poem of yore. I've finished reading Madame Bovary (or Madame Bovine as I have affectionately renamed it) and want to write about it, but I'm having trouble stringing coherent thoughts together.... Enjoy!

nursing sweet sin

On a night drenched in rain,
I heard a tap on my door and
let sin come into my house.

Thin boned and starving,
I dried her with fine linen
and served her warm milk
in my finest china bowl.

She folded herself up in
my favorite chair,
the one right next to the fire.
She fell asleep,

In the morning, she cried
to be let out.
I watched her from my window
stalk her prey.
She always returns
at dusk.

She grew larger and sleek:
no longer the sweet bundle
I had nursed.
A jump on the counter
sends fine china flying,
shattering on hard tile floor.
She is eating me out of house
and home.

At night she now sleeps in my bed.
Her watchful, yellow eyes
bind me to her each night.
Like a lover,
she kneads my body
with large paws,
lightly claws skin off my back.

In the morning, I cry
to be let out.
Curled up in her window,
she smugly watches
me escape down the street.
I always return home
to her house
at dusk.




Adullamite said...

That's very good! And so is the picture!
Really good!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

oh yes, verrrrrry excellent!

witnessing am i said...

This is lovely, RDG.

I love the title and the switch at the end. I love the eyes that bind and the large paws, like a lover's, that kneed (need) your body. This poem didn't need the visual as the words took us on a nice journey all by themselves.

goatman said...

Sun material?

Shapeshifting . . . no, more like selfshifting

soubriquet said...

I particularly like this one. Had I been posting it upon your behalf, I would not have put a picture of a cat in there. Maybe a woman, seen from behind, gazing wistfully out of a window.
I'd leave the cat metaphorical, insubstantial, implied, because the poem tells not of a relationship with a cat, but so many other scenarios too, a room-mate, a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, all those scenarios where encroachment is gradual, it starts with a few items left behind, then a drawer full of clean clothes, and suddenly, one day, you might say "How did that happen?".
Even a parent and child relationship, that too can go this way. As the bumper sticker I saw today said "Be nice to your children. Remember, one day they'll be choosing your care home".


soubriquet said...

I never liked Madame Ovary, felt sorry for her husband.

Nasty behaved woman.

Adullamite said...

Ignore these whining folks. The picture is perfect! :)

Bullets said...

Nice switch. Brilliant!

red dirt girl said...

Thank you Adullamite. And I'm glad SOMEBODY liked the picture .... :)


red dirt girl said...

Thank you verrrrry much, Mr. Rith!

red dirt girl said...

Mr. Wit, Thank you for the kind words. Just put your hand over the visual as you read. You won't get distracted that way.

red dirt girl said...

goatman, The Sun?? do you really think .... I never got up enough nerve to send anything in to them...
I like self-shifting. Yes, very much.

red dirt girl said...

Soubry, I'm looking at a pair of sweatpants in my cupboard .... should I be worried about future encroachments??

No, the poem is NOT about a cat. The cat is just a vehicle onto which I tied a story about sin. Now sin can be a tricky subject to tackle because we all have differing emotional reactions to the concept. For me, it was about sliding down the slippery slope. The first time, you tell yourself, 'Oh this isn't so bad. I'm not hurting anyone...' Then you wake up one morning and discover that you're at the bottom of a quagmire. One that you created by a series of choices ...

I like how you are reading the poem in terms of relationships. A different point of view.


red dirt girl said...

ps. Madame BOVINE ..... she was such a silly cow!

red dirt girl said...

Hi cowboy, it's not often that you throw the 'B' word around at a post. I'm honored.

red dirt girl said...

A few follow-up notes:

About that visual .... well c'mon guys, you KNOW rdg is a very VISUAL kind of gal. Some visuals are more important than others, but I have fun picking and choosing. They make crazy sense to me. I like the juxtaposition of a rather benign cat photo posted over a somewhat more malovent description of a cat-like creature. The visuals are never intended to 'direct your thoughts' in one direction or another. The visual is almost ALWAYS the delicious icing on the cake.

Reading poetry, to me, is about what you bring to the table and what you take from the poem. The result of that mix is individual, interesting and exciting for me, as a writer, to read. It's experiential with no wrong ways or right ways to express it.


Anonymous said...

To me, this is a nice poem about a cat. Until I read the other comments, it had not even occurred to me that this poem might really be about somethong other than a cat. Never crossed my mind!

Hi mule friend!

red dirt girl said...

Anonymous: Bwaaaahaaaaaaa! That's certainly what was needed here, a fresh viewpoint!

Hi Dave!

soubriquet said...

Dave's sin is a kayak.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Most lovely - envelopes the reader in a furry warmth.

e said...

I'm glad to see you're still around...Enjoyed this post and I do hope your household feels better soon.

red dirt girl said...

Soubry~ Now, now, now - don't be going about exposing everybody's secret sin here on the blogs...

red dirt girl said...

Cosmo~ Thank you for your generous words. Am I to be expecting that you would welcome a furry sin to jump into your lap ??? ;)


red dirt girl said...

Hi e! It is very good to see you as well. This is beginning to feel like 'old home' week. I appreciate you stopping by and for the encouraging words of good health.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

By all accounts, furry sins are the very best kind.