Loki of white and orange bulk
bullies through the Pumpkin Corridor,
scattering Queenie, Gemini,
Little Ben, Angel, and others.
Loki wants people to admire him,
but like the child of “Animula”
he’s both precocious and wild.
Tensile and poised, his repose
seems a mode of attack. Needy
as only large male cats can be,
he claims all available space.
His friends are patient. Queenie,
fearless and half his size, bumps him
from a food dish. Gemini
huddles against him and purrs.
Angel sneers down from the perch
she holds against the gravest assault.
Little Ben wants only to play.
On a brimming autumn Saturday
Loki gets lucky. Someone needs him,
only him. A cat carrier yawns
and he’s gone forever, his new home
out of state, out of mind. The space
he occupied hums as cats compete
to fill it. Little Ben, owl-eyed
tux cat, and Queenie, gray tiger,
cuddle into place so the gap
in the Pumpkin Gang doesn’t show.
They’ll remember Loki, of course,
but the flux of cats engages them,
and he’ll recede into the distance
in a patter of faded pawprints,
fragile as a dusting of snow.