Original Poetry

“Triptych of Cats”

by Dietrich Balsbaugh


The black cat
with one broken ear
looked surprised,

as if I had found out
his great secret:
living under my porch.

With one eye on me
he snuck into the yard
and slipped over the fence.


Three cats gather
around the salt brine
discarded in the field.

One licks the grass.
The other watches,
and the third

saunters off
into the field
to catch mice

whose heads
she will leave
on the patio.


Someone has been feeding the cats
who live in the woods.

They must walk by in the morning
and leave the kibble in piles
for the cats to find,

because when I arrive
the cats have already come
one by one from the bushes
and are eating in silence
as solitary as I.

Dietrich Balsbaugh is a mathematician and writer. When he is not working, he spends his spare time reading with his lovely wife, bird-watching, or playing a new board game.

Header Image: © Kairos Photography, 2023

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