When Cats Are Sheep

C. E. Chaffin

The brown finch on my balcony rail
sings for his wife, who ducks
through the broken corner
of the overhead lamp cover's
rounded square of milky glass.
With her bag-lady bits
of twig and string
she constructs safety
inside the hollow,
then lays her bottled children down.

My cats bleat like miniature sheep
around these birds
because my balcony
is twenty floors up
so they can stalk but never leap
except to their deaths.

That is why these weird sounds
are squeezed from their throats.

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The 2River View, 2_1 (Fall 1997)