Diane Corson, Cave Art (detail)
We have a new kitten named Dandelion, and the strange
thing is that neither of us can remember her arrival or where
she came from. She’s a Snowshoe Siamese, only about
four weeks old and small enough to fit in a teacup. This
morning I awoke to find her perched on my chest, staring
at me with her deep blue eyes. “Get off of me, Dandelion,”
I said, and I swear she shook her head slightly and refused
to move. I started to sit up but she growled and something
in her tone made me lie back down meekly, awaiting her
next command. She glanced at my right hand and blinked.
Somehow I knew this meant I was to pet her immediately.
Which I did. Elizabeth stirred next to me, rubbing her eyes,
and began to sit up. Dandelion growled again and I said,
“Don’t get up just yet, honey. Dandelion wouldn’t like it.”
“What are you talking about?” said Elizabeth, although she
did pause in her movements. Dandelion fixed her with a look
that was clearly meant to frighten her, and it did. Dandelion
started to purr, loudly and rhythmically, until we were
completely hypnotized. Then Dandelion looked at Elizabeth’s
right hand and blinked. Elizabeth petted her slowly, alternating
with me. Now that the household hierarchy had been redrawn
we lay mute but attentive, ready to obey Dandelion’s next
whim. I silently hoped she wouldn’t demand that we kill
each other, because we are still so very much in love.
Review by Nadine Ellsworth-Moran
This poem is very much a prose poem holding a particular moment of an ongoing story line. The length itself was a good choice in that it is long enough to hold the reader’s interest and to capture the characters and the moment well without becoming repetitive or dull. I felt the use of the dialogue worked to carry the poem’s tension between “owners” and cat, which was certainly debatable as to who was who by the end and gave the poem an interesting yet universal appeal for anyone who’s had a cat (including this reader!) I think the specificity of the story was a great choice and the way Dandelion is so well drawn out as her own being with thoughts and possible “grand schemes” in juxtaposition to the human beings. The ending was a great twist and I found it a very satisfying way to have the poem conclude. I found it to be a clever and interesting poem and enjoyed it very much.