I don’t get it, I say aloud
though no one’s in the room save the dog.
He tilts his head and gives me
that quizzical look that could mean so many things.
Or nothing at all.
Today I am impatient and so his sweet face doesn’t work its magic.
Go chase the cat, I tell the dog.
His ears perk up. Although he understands but a few commands —
and of those known obeys even fewer —
he jumps to his feet and scampers off, ostensibly in search of the cat.
I feel sorry for the cat and a bit mean for having made the suggestion,
but who really thought the dog would follow through?
I still don’t get it, I say aloud,
and this time there’s no one in the room at all,
the cat’s tail flicks out from behind the drapes.
Green eyes peer around a fold of cloth and lock me in a stare.
I heard what you just did, the cat seems to say.
I’m sorry, I mouth silently so as not to give his presence away.
I hear the dog sigh as he squeezes beneath my bed in the back room.
His favorite napping place. He has given up the game.
Cat is safe for now, but by his look I can tell I am far from forgiven.
I continue my soliloquy.
You know what I don’t get? This!
I point in the general direction of the glowing laptop screen.
Lines of text — some
some longer — parade down the edge of the screen.
Sometimes a line or two
skips toward the center screen
as though it were the end dancer of a cancan line and missed a turn.
No rhyme nor reason.
Well, sometimes a rhyme. After all, it’s poetry, right?
Or so it self-proclaims. This is what I don’t get.
I don’t understand poetry. What makes something a poem,
and not just some random words stitched together
in seeming sincerity?
I’m too shallow, I tell the cat. He has come out of hiding
and jumps on the couch in hopes of securing a warm spot near the laptop.
Poetry in motion, that’s what they say about cats. Sometimes.
The cat meows in response and I press my finger to his lips to shush him.
Too late. The dog scrambles from beneath the bed and pads out to be with us.
No poetry in this dog’s gangly moves. Maybe he’s just a limerick.
Am I too shallow? I ask the dog and cat. They fail to reach a consensus.
Never mind, I say.
I return my attention to the keyboard.
I’ve gotta hurry up and bang out this poem
before I go to bed.
NaPoWriMo challenge, Day Ten: write a poem of simultaneity – in which multiple things are happening at once.