Window Poem: Circle of Life


In May at Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’s blog, Today’s Little Ditty, she and Julie Fogliano challenged writers to look out their windows and write a poem about what they saw. They decided to call these poems, Window Poems.

I spend a lot of time looking out my window and enjoy a beautiful view that often distracts me from whatever I should be doing.  This poetry challenge was right up my alley! I expected I would write something about the bird play at the feeders, the deer slipping through the trees, or even the solo turkey who’s been visiting us lately. Or perhaps I would write about the early morning moon shining through the dark branches, the silhouette of the barn roof at sunset, or the colorful blossoms emerging in the garden. I’m so often inspired by the beauty I see outside my window, especially at this time of year; It’s familiar writing territory for me.

Instead, one recent morning I found myself writing this:

Circle of Life

Outside my window
morning light grows
the glassy-eyed chipmunk
yesterday’s gift from my cat
still lies on the granite step

Last night
snarls ripped through
the dark
My fervent calls
yielded no response
just furtive rustling
in the shadowed woods
I slipped back indoors
into uneasy sleep

Outside my window
morning light grows
the chipmunk remains
My cat does not appear

© 2018 M. Hogan. All rights reserved.


Notes: Thankfully my cat did return much later that day with her confident strut intact and with nary a scratch. As you can see, she’s determined to be an outside cat. When we met her at the shelter, she’d been isolated from the other cats, because she kept opening the doors to the cat rooms, freeing herself and all the other cats!


This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog. She’s sharing a wonderful shape poem inspired by the flurry of maple seeds helicoptering through her Michigan skies. Stop by to check out her delightful poem and to visit others as well.

25 thoughts on “Window Poem: Circle of Life

  1. lindabaie says:

    I loved this story/poem when I first read it, Molly, and now am glad to read that your ferocious hunter cat is safe, back from whatever adventures she chooses. This beginning is so startling, and wonderful too: “the glassy-eyed chipmunk
    yesterday’s gift from my cat
    still lies on the granite step”, not the expected dreamy morning scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. maryleehahn says:

    I’m glad to know the end of this story/the return of the cat. She’s got quite the backstory! Somehow I think she needs so more poems!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. margaretsmn says:

    ew, those glassy eyes. Cats and their predatory ways… you gotta love em anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I think your cat needs an entire collection about her.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A cat who opens doors is a cat with a mind of her own! You’ve captured this huntress with her furtive rustling and glassy-eyed gifts. Glad she returned safely!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My cat used to open doors, too. He’d put his paw underneath and wiggle the door until it popped open. He was a city cat, though, in his early years, and he never went outside.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Grateful for another opportunity to read your poem, Molly. I feel honored to meet this clever and determined feline escape artist! (Also, ditto Kim’s comment.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I’m glad your cat made it back home–and inspired you to write this poem. I remember those gifts left on the doorstep back when I used to have a cat.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. She is quite the fierce beauty! And lucky to have opened the door to your home and hearts. Sad for the chipmunk – such endearing fellow creatures – but those feline instincts are sharp, sharp. Thank you for the poem (and that double-meaning of ‘remains’ at the end.)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, those show off cats and their trophies! It’s hard to remember that it’s their form of love. I wonder what we do that grosses them out?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      This cat definitely regards us with a look of disdain, not infrequently! We’re never quite sure what we’ve done to deserve it, but clearly we are in the wrong!


  11. Donna Smith says:

    Oh, love this story…and happy ending! We used to have a cat that could open doors, too! What a beauty you have there. It is hard to keep them inside when they were an outdoor cat. We used to have minor fights about staying inside with our rescue cat – for just what you feared here. So many owls, hawks, foxes, coyotes out here at night!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’ve never yet been able to keep a cat inside if she wants to get out. They are persistent creatures 🙂 We just do our best to get her in at night when all the crazy creatures are creeping and crawling about!


  12. paulabourque says:

    Molly, I love this poem –and this idea of window poetry. Thanks for continuing to inspire me!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. mbhmaine says:

    Thanks, Paula! It was a great challenge for me, as I spend a lot of time looking out the window (when I should be doing other things! lol).


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