A Place Out in the Woods

little house by Akuokuo Vallis

I was spying on the handsome new alley cat — while listening to a redbird — singing. Sounded like the blues to me — only because that song left me feeling  sad.

That’s when I noticed another redbird limping —  underneath the peonies — the pink ones.  All the petals have already fallen off the white ones — from the rain last night.

That handsome new alley cat was still at the neighbor’s house — crouching low — on those crumbling, old steps — watching a huge black bird — maybe it was a crow — eating french fries out of the dumpster.  The dumpster that gets filled and hauled away on Tuesdays — since last November.

I  knocked and knocked and knocked — on the window — when I saw that alley cat — his name should be Houghton — such a haughty, snobby boy — getting closer and closer to the peonies — the pink ones.  He stopped and looked at me — in the way that only cats can.

I should know better by now — should’ve  just turned away.

One look into those crystal cat eyes — and I was lost, for sure — nowhere to be found. Next thing I knew — that alley cat — named Houghton — had that redbird in his mouth — and he was still staring at me — underneath the peonies.