The Dog Takes it All in Stride, but the Cat’s Gone into Hiding
My husband unleashes beasts at our house,
not just Bottom with his ass’s head escaped from a dream,
but pot-bellied demons from Japan and a coiled ghost
with a girl’s face, her scales blue and white in moonlight.
A lion lounges in a sunny spot in the back bedroom.
Ever watchful, he yawns whenever I pass the door.
His companion, the unicorn, needed some air and now nibbles
pink double hibiscus, while bunnies munch on the lawn.
The dragon scorches the concrete garden wall when he snores,
but he fits tidily in a corner under the Cecile Brunner rose.
On the other hand, the phoenix, perched amid the orange blossoms,
cannot help but set the whole place ablaze when his time comes.
I carry my morning tea and toast through the dining room
where a satyr pulls petals from my birthday bouquet and stuffs them
into his mouth, preferring daisies to the carnations with their scent.
I understand why he avoids bathing, all that curly hair in tangles.
But he reeks of old booze and rotten meat, and his ears need cleaning.
The Minotaur keeps me company while I write at the patio table.
He’s grown too old for his storied appetites, and I’m no longer driven
by a hunger for words that filled this house with books.
When the Santa Ana winds pick up, I anchor my paper with flatware
and turn the notebook so the sun can’t reach the pages.
Better to work out here, knowing that the maw of the gates of hell,
with its jagged teeth of a cat, waits at the back of the coat closet.
Trina Gaynon‘s poems appear in Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, and Mizmor Anthology, and recently in the journals Buddhist Poetry Review, Essential, and 45th Parallel. Her chapbook An Alphabet of Romance is available from Finishing Line Press. She currently leads a group of poetry readers at the Senior Studies Institute in Portland and participates in the Ars Poetica community.