The Room it Takes to Swing a Cat
They say no room, as though it’s really small.
But have you ever tried? To swing a cat,
you have to find a grip — not by the tail,
nor by the neck, nor any bit of coat
that lets you hold it loosely. Cats are taut,
elastic, slingshot creatures, hardly still
at all, impatient, patient, prudent, not
too trusting, not too independent, all
aquiver with misgiving love. A cat
is hard to swing around. I tell you that;
I’ve tried it, one too many times, and all
I’ve learned is this uneven truth: a cat will shoot
away from slipping fingers, claw and crawl
its way from hands that hold. And so, to swing
a cat takes practice — and a room that’s long.