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?
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,
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.