Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Conversations Over the Fence"

This poem came out of the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from morrigans_eve, alicephilippa, and zianuray.  It has been sponsored by Anthony Barrette.


Conversations Over the Fence


A long time had passed
since the Council of Animals concluded
and they scattered to the four quarters of the Earth.

The Humans had come, and with them divisions,
so that the animals had largely organized themselves
into man-friends and man-foes;
but they were still kin to each other
and sometimes they spoke over the fence ...

Lynx said to Housecat,
"Your Humans are in the way.
What use are they anyhow?"

Housecat said to Lynx,
"Just push them out of the way
with a sharp clever claw!  They will move.
Besides, they are pleasantly warm to sleep upon."

But Lynx only laughed and said,
"I prefer to sleep in the trees,
who never try to kill me."

Housecat said,
"The Humans are my friends."

Lynx returned to the woods,
saying suavely over his shoulder,
"Are they really?"

Possum said to Dachshund,
"What is it that you do on this farm?"

Dachshund said to Possum,
"I chase the mice and rats
out from under the floorboards of the barn."

Possum said to Dachshund,
"What of the chickens in the coop?"

Dachshund shrugged and said,
"Oh, those are not my responsibility."

So Possum went in through a small hole
and ate some of the chickens.
Then the Humans were vexed
and Housecat laughed because Dachshund
had to sleep outdoors for a week.

Housecat went riding on her Human's shoulder,
thinking what a fine thing it was to have servants.
They walked past a museum display
with a statue of a giant Dodo.

"Greetings, old friend!"
Dodo said to Housecat,
speaking in the way of totem spirits.

"Greetings," Housecat replied.
"I have not seen you for some time."

"I have not been here to be seen,"
Dodo said, "except for this statue
and a few other relics."

"Alas!" said Housecat.
"Whatever happened to cause that?"

"The Humans happened," said Dodo.
"They came and killed all of me."

Then Housecat flattened herself
against her strolling perch
and wondered if domesticating Humans
had been such a grand idea after all.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, nature, poem, poetry, reading, wildlife, writing
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