The Visitor

Ada Limón

A neighborhood tuxedo cat’s walking the fence line

and the dogs are going bonkers in the early morning.

The louder they bark, the more their vexation grows,

the less the cat seems to care. She’s behind my raised

beds now, no doubt looking for the family of field mice

I’ve been leaving be because, why not? The cat’s

dressed up for this occasion of trespass, black tie

attire for the canine taunting, but the whole clamor

is making me uneasy. This might be what growing

older is. My problem: I see all the angles of what

could go wrong so I never know what side to be on.

Save the mice, shoo the cat, quiet the dogs? Let

the cat have at it? Let the dogs have at it? Instead,

I do what I do best: nothing. I watch the cat

leap into the drainage ditch, dew-wet fur against

the day lilies, and disappear. The dogs go quiet

again, and the mice are safe in their caves, and

I’m here waiting for something to happen to me.

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