The Wandering Cat

“Apple Tree Branches” by Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, 1883, via Wikimedia Commons

The Wandering Cat

Under narrow November sun, the rock wall
of hand-piled granite river stones
surrounds a sagging herb garden
of leggy tarragon, wounded thyme,
and frost-black basil.

An orange cat leaps out,
no temper, tremor or twist –
just gone.

A white-haired woman in a blue apron,
a fisherman’s-knot wool sweater,
and gray leather gloves
kneels to plant
a lightning rosebush
to replace the crown-galled noble red,
a once-fecund rose too far gone,
sad-animal-energy end
of menses, succumbed.

She leans on the dark-green wooden gate,
breathing in her many days of growing
a homing soul that loves
the next yellow rose in the mint

and the apple fall
inside her garden wall.


Photo by Darrell Salk.

Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet who has maintained a garden all her life, sowing the seeds of sanity. She grew up admiring her mother’s roses and vegetable garden. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener. Her chapbook Urban Wild is available from Amazon and focuses on interactions between humans and wildlife in urban habitat. Her book Ocean’s Laughter will be out from Aldrich Press in spring of 2016. The poetry in Ocean’s Laughter reflects on environmental issues related to a small town on the Oregon coast. For links to many published poems, visit website: 

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