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Cat Drama

This poem is based on a scene I witnessed at the Hotel Raleigh in the Catskills in May of 1999. There I was with some old people sitting on benches. A cat strolled by. Suddenly, we heard a terrible squeal...
 

SQUEEEALLL!

as the chipmunk squeaked
its ghastly terror, thrashing abominably
in the happy cat's mouth

During this, its penultimate drama, we all froze.

Seemed that nasty cat had Chip's neck in its toothy slamma

We anticipated a cruel ending to this natural calamity

Crowds of 70 year olds stood mouth agape on the chair-lined hotel entry-way.

Like readers of some nickel misery, we all wondered desperately what the outcome might be...

After some dithering and feline snithering,

the cat,
grey and white,
city-fed and deadly bored,
released its
agonized hoard.

We applauded handily as the tiny creature
skittered
up that tree.

Messeur le Cat,
vexed,
confident,
and now supremely at liberty...

scratched at the lower limbs of the tree

knowing he'd had his play,
and we -
our small,
though still
quite
incredible,
victory.

—— Albert Fried-Cassorla, May 29, 1999

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