"Kibitz" by Cecilia Porter
poems have been published in Grain, Descant, Room of One's Own
and Arc, and she has work forthcoming in Crab Orchard
Review, Nimrod, and The Texas Observer. Her first
book of poetry, Stones Call Out, is forthcoming from Coteau
Books. Her children's novel Sky was released this fall
by Groundwood Books; they will publish her second one in 2006.
Ghosts of Animals Still Live Around Us
We called her Felicity, runt of the litter,
calico. Could hide, invisible, in a slide
of fallen grass. Half-wild all
her life, clash of lion
with something hunted and small.
She is all sprirt now
but comes here still, and also Naomi,
first family dog. The kids
burst in, mud on their legs and leaves
trailing, chiming, we've seen her,
or rather, felt her padding
on fog feet
at the periphery of pasture,
fringe of their sight.
I've caught them myself
certain mornings—not seeing
so much as knowing, despite air
I can wave my hand through—
lying or standing in a patch of sun
with our chestnut gelding, his mane
even now chestnut and gleaming.
And though I let fall the latch
that clanks against the gate, they
don't turn as the living do.
They have come
to drink dawn
from the pied cup
of the sun.