Miles to Oz

15 miles of interstate

30 miles of rural roads and  highways

lie between a tin dairy cow shed in Wiggins

and my brick house in town.


a foiled attempt on Halloween

to re-home my midnight cat as a barn mouser.

thinking a farm would be perfect for him

all the delights of a cat cuisine with freedom.


But near nightfall, on Christmas eve,

he cried piteously at my door

too weak to leap the wooden fence.


questions without answers

how a slender cat walks unscathed

from unknown to known

through sinister  coyotes lurking

dodging missiles weighted by sugar beets

foreign country to home?

Why his devoted partner, Jazz, remained on the farm.


what primeval ruby slippered conjurer?

what  ancient homing device ticks?

what prehistoric GPS

wired into feral archives?

what Oz?


some of us, too, hear the din of wanderlust

feel craving for that which we scarcely remember

or never held

a stinging appetite draws us from safe to precarious.


the quest to ferret out

one minuscule impulse.

compulsion like dulcet chocolate tones






Chilled and weary

resting on the ceramic heater,

tips of frostbitten ears twitching,

Miles Davis

lies quiescent

in his image of the perfect home

mulling  40 frozen miles

not as distance but as detachment.


Smiling, if indeed cats can smile,

murmurs his muse to me in muted undertones.





One comment

  1. I remember you telling this story……..but I must have missed the fact that Jazz stayed in Wiggins. The call ‘Home” is just greater for some than others…and no thoughts of danger ever destroy their effort to find it. “Home is where the heart is!!”

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