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The Shakespearean sonnet by its formal nature elevates its subject (not necessarily who is addressed) and concludes with a “turn” (volta) in the last couplet.



Foolish thing!
               that scampers thighs and burrows necks
As if the world is new for you to seize.
I tell you now, this earth is too complex
For such as us to act as we might please.
Don’t query me with eyes so round as those!
With whiskers fine and fragile ears alert
Enough and soon, this teacher will disclose,
True woe they’ll meet, your innocence convert.
You plot to turn me, call me back to pasts
Where friends might ‘suage our simple mew and tears
Have me claim a second youth which lasts,
Expunge this scowl that’s ripe beyond its years.
          Know, then, what your elder cats have learned:
          A morning stretch trumps all–and is well-earned.


To A Kitten


You, ten ounces of fuzzy cliché,
          Tramping about like you own
          My thigh, my palms,
                    My neck,
Don’t get too comfortable:
          This place wasn’t built for us.

Oh, I see you,
          Cuddling up with all the trite imagery
          Of paw and (so tiny) claw, eye and ear.
They’ll all commit acts of terror soon enough
          And feel it, themselves.

But your appearance here is meant to, what?
          Return me to some second child?
          Comfort me in company?
Absolve me of this scowl
          Which marks my malefactions?

No, little one,
          You will age with me,
          Learn what your elders know:

          A guiltless yawn
          The ebbing of the rut
          Sedentary hours by a fern
          Tax refunds
          Your own WiFi
          Reading Dostoevski
          Something called “brunch”
          A front door wreath
          Showering when you want
                    (or not)
          Pride in scar tissue
          That first


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