Packing The Kittens

The box labeled dishes&glasses–
breakable! is too small.
The one that says Shar’s shit Stae out!
is too big.
Kittens get scared
if they can’t sense the walls of
their bodies. This one,
with its punch-card holes
and shredded corners,
is just right.
On their way in,
the kittens rough and tumble,
splay their claws.
Every purr and rawr
makes happy music
until I close the top,
scrawl return to sender.
Then, silence.
I don’t know where I’m sending them
or how.
UPS said no. Helpful Brown
wasn’t helpful at all.
The government considers them
a hazardous substance,
right up there with tear gas
and nail polish. And I’m tired
of standing in line anyway.
My arms hurt.
“Go home,” I say. “I can’t
take you anymore.
Go home.”
They clamber and climb,
claw over claw. The perfect
box tips, spills kittens every
which way. Skid, tail, teeth,
meow, purr, swipe and lap.
Claws catch in my pant leg,
the edge of my sock,
the under layer of my skin.
We are caught, tangled and wrapped.
The kittens dance with me,
each step I take, they take too.
At the counter, the woman
licks her paw and stamps my hand.
“Next,” she says.
There are so many places
we could go.


About This Poem: Not liking this poem at all, but I promised myself I would stick to the prompt. I started with an image of a kitten in a box and followed it to the end. I don’t have any idea what any of it means.

About Poem-A-Day: For the month of April (National Poetry Month), I’ve signed on to write a poem-a-day (eeks!). To make it slightly easier on myself, my rules are that I have to write each poem in fifteen minutes or less, and that I have to post it here on the blog as soon as I’m done. No edits. Just rough. Raw. Right out of the gate. (Of course, if you’re playing along, I hope you’ll post a link to your poem in the comments here — mainly because I’m selfish and I want to read them!)

See all my Poem-A-Day poems here.

You can also read some amazing poems-a-day over at Sage Cohen’s blog.