Cat at the Window

The cat peeks behind the lace curtain
to get a clearer look through the glass.
For all he knows, he lives in Plato’s Cave,
and here’s an exit. But surely his life
is real: the tin foil balls, the catnip toy,
the scratching post—all the hideouts
he has found safe haven in. Surely,
they are real. And yet there, beyond the glass,
a breeze stirs, colors sparkle in the sun,
sounds rebound. A different world obtains.

In the summer, the glass becomes a screen,
and then smells are added to the tableau
spread before him. Such mysterious scents!
Now there’s even a dark creature flying
across the sky, making a raucous noise.

The cat may never go outside to test
his thesis. What would he make of it all?
Could he have lived a real life there?
He tries to see what he has sacrificed
to let a human being love him here.

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