Fire Cat
He only comes out
as often as a full moon--
aflame in his tyger coat,
my fire cat.
I take him as a sign
of something auspicious
those nights he slinks 
up onto my porch
acting nonchalant,
looking for attention.
He's feral which means
you don't touch him
as he does figure eights
around yours ankles,
barely brushing them
with his long white whiskers.
If you move he'll spit
or take a swipe at you,
so you stand there until 
he finishes his ritual,
then drops off into
the darkened lawn,
burning a trail behind him
before disappearing
into the purple embrace
of the elderberry bush.



copyright 2001 Phoebe Claire Publishing, LLC  All rights reserved