It’s the ninja cat skirting the
shadows, hesitating, then moving
on a silent path, leaving no trace.
Or the gangly boy who’s always
drawing dragons in the back row
of class, much too skinny but
dragons in flight, breathing fire.
The one puppy in the litter who
sits like the Buddha, full eye
contact in the middle of a howling
chaos of mushy kibble and poop
and torn newspaper, unblinking.
That woman with a bad haircut
who talks to herself, a bottle goat
in the passenger seat of her truck,
floorboards covered with halters
and leashes and ropes, just in case.
The spotted donkey standing
guard under thick brows; watching
for intruders but hoping the mare
will walk off the hay soon. The
crooked elder who climbs the
front steps, pulling off boots on the
porch of a dark house, switches
on the kitchen light, then one egg
cracked in the pan, the yolk soft
on dry toast, as a black cat settles to
a companionable place on the table.