“Sister Cat” by Frances Mayes
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
Cat stands at the fridge, Cries loudly for milk. But I've filled her bowl. Wild cat, I say, Sister, Look, you have milk. I clink my fingernail Against the rim. Milk. With down and liver, A word I know she hears. Her sad miaow. She runs To me. She dips In her whiskers but Doesn't drink. As sometimes I want the light on When it is on. Or when I saw the woman walking toward my house and I thought there's Frances. Then looked in the car mirror To be sure. She stalks The room. She wants. Milk Beyond milk. World beyond This one, she cries.
from Ex Voto, 1995
Lost Roads Publishers, Little Rock, Ark.
Copyright 1995 by Frances Mayes.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Lost Roads Publishers. Copyright 1995 by Frances Mayes. For further permissions information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Poet
Frances Mayes is the author of a number of novels, memoirs, cookbooks, travel books and poetry collections, including Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir (Broadway Books, 2015).
Learn more about Frances Mayes.