Friday, March 14, 2008

Cat in an empty apartment

Dying--you wouldn't do that to a cat.
For what is a cat to do
in an empty apartment?
Climb up the walls?
Brush up against the furniture?
Nothing here seems changed,
and yet something has changed.
Nothing has been moved,
and yet there's more room.
And in the evenings the lamp is not on.
One hears footsteps on the stairs,
but they're not the same.
Neither is the hand
that puts a fish on the plate.
Something here isn't starting
at its usual time.
Something here isn't happening
as it should.
Somebody has been here and has been,
and then has suddenly disappeared
and now is stubbornly absent.
All the closets have been scanned
and all the shelves run through.
Slipping under the carpet and checking came to nothing.
The rule has even been broken and all the papers scattered.
What else is there to do?
Sleep and wait.
Just let him come back,
let him show up.
Then he'll find out
that you don't do that to a cat.
Going toward him
faking reluctance,
slowly, on very offended paws.
And no jumping, purring at first.

-Wislawa Szymborska

2 comments:

MCM said...

It is a wonderful poem.

carrotpreacher said...

Hi, great blog, I noticed you have Donnie Darko as one of your favorites...read my blog for 3/14/08...you may like it :)