Slice of Life: That Cat Look

Writing Inspiration

Today we glanced outside to see the neighbor’s cat napping in the empty bird bath. When she noticed us looking at her, she gave the typical nonchalant, innocent cat look of “What? Is something wrong? Did I miss something?” All cat owners know that look. And so. A poem.

Writing Process

I tried to think of an every day event where I might stumble across this cat in the bird bath. And in my mind I heard the lyrics from the Beatles A Day in the Life:

Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head

Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up, I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat

Lyrics
“A Day in the Life”
John Lennon / Paul McCartney from Genius

I took the idea of the first two lines to start my poem:

Walking out, check the yard—
Drag the hose from the shed

Then I just wrote the story and the cat’s “innocent” response—followed by a check on syllables, sound, and meaning to revise. Here’s my draft and revision:

Poetry

What?

Walking out, check the yard—
Drag the hose from the shed
Hook it up, test it out
Pull it towards the bird bath-
Neighbor’s cat, curled within
Snuggled in empty bath—
Looks aside, seems to say,
“What?”

Sheri Edwards
042822 119.365.22
Poetry/Photography

Your Turn

With your own pet or animal photo or my photo, write a few captions for what the cat is thinking. Backtrack to imagining someone walking into the picture/situation and and write those lines.

Rearrange them and begin to consider your story poem— How can you in as few words and lines as possible, tell the story. No need to rhyme, but be aware of alliteration/consonance [consonant] and assonance [vowel] sounds across your words. And choose words that fine tune your meaning. For instance cozy to curled and curled up to snuggled.

Share your poetry with a friend. See if they can write their own too.

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