Tightrope Books

Tightrope Kitty Saved by Poetry

By Tightrope Books | September 10th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

A howling, bitter wind swept past the Tightrope offices this past weekend. Dust swirled in circles, throwing itself in the eyes of a stray kitty who cried and ran to keep pace with the wind that changed directions, carrying her in its arms to tell her a story. It was late evening, and the wind dropped kitty near a small house where a desperate mother knelt in an upper window, candles creating a faint din behind her in a girl’s bedroom…Kitty recognized her at once as the woman who prayed for her child’s recovery to sanity after witnessing a playground argument that ended in near-fatal wounds…Kitty blinked hard and wished she could be indoors someplace warm, sipping some milk from a human hand…after all, what good could she do? She was as ignored as the men up the street ahead of her who seemed to be fighting with their hands while their voices fought over which one of them should have the right to tear off his clothing for a slender female who had already torn off most of hers…

When I went on my usual evening walk that night by the offices, I found kitty and after listening to her tell me about the wind and its coercion with her that night, I felt saddened about my newly acquired ability to understand kitty language. Quickly gathering her up in my arms and draping a towel over her shivering body, I ran back home and salvaged her milk and cookies. My roommates, who heard me come in, made cooing sounds and rushed to pet kitty, who purred with satisfaction and lapped eagerly at her milk.

As I stepped in front of the window, I recalled her secrets and felt wistful and confused. I looked up at the sky and somehow that night, it seemed out of place, pieces that didn’t fit like a patchwork of skies torn from different cities in different meridians and pasted to cover giant holes. When I looked down at the ground, I saw similar gaping holes that let me see through to the other side of the world…the holes had been filled by pieces of desert sands, rice paddy fields and other materials from countries far away…

I walked outside and immediately felt dizzy. I seemed to be falling straight through the earth, but found a rock to grab hold of for dear life just in time, as I began pulling myself onto my neighbour’s lawn…Was my road being torn up for construction, I wondered? I couldn’t find any signs anywhere, everything else seemed normal…I could smell my neighbour’s cooking wafting through his kitchen window and noticed his family dancing to exotic music in a language I couldn’t place…

I sensed an odd mixture of emotions…I felt tears rising up inside of me that filtered into hysterical giggles…Sweating and freezing, I jumped from one patch of earth to the next till I reached my house and ran up to my bathroom where I sat down and held my head in my hands. The strange thing was, I knew I wanted my mother and picked up the phone, but when I tried to talk, words screamed in my head in foreign tongues, my tongue went numb and I slammed down the phone…

I sniffled and looked at the sink, where, in the midst of a puddle of water, I rescued a copy of Manual for Emigrants…It seemed like hours that I sat in that bathroom reading those poems as my head started to clear, until I headed to my room to settle into bed snugly with my teddybear after saying a quick prayer in thanks, for my warm bed on solid ground.

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