Poem #15, Writers Group, and a Meeting w/ a Publisher

Cats for a Day

Every morning I used to ask my cat,
“Why don’t we switch things up a bit?
This time, you go to work,
and I lay around all day.”

She blinked, chirped, walked away.
I grumbled about how some people
just don’t pull their own weight.

But do you remember the time
we decided to play cats-for-the-day?
More commonly known
as playing hooky.

You had the day off work
and I had a bit of an ache in my arms
and my period —
not enough to keep me home,
except that you looked so cozy
in your bed, goading me:
“You should do it. Call in sick
and hang out with me.”

For seven years we shared small spaces
cheered each other up onto our soap boxes
had conversations in broken Spanish
played guitars and cards at the kitchen table.
Even then, I knew those nights of movies
and reading books aloud
were our glorious moments of stretching out
basking in the sun
just because it was there.
Two kittens dashed across
slippery tile floors
as two women lay on two sides
of the same wall
and reached out their voices
where their hands didn’t touch.
Except for the nights when talking
wasn’t enough and my body shook
and the tears came rushing down my face
as fast as you came rushing into my room.

But then one day, you wore an expensive white dress
and we had a big party
and that meant that it was time for you to share
small spaces with someone else,
curled up with him in bed just like
kittens curled up on the couch.

And so I have no regrets
about the half lie I once told
so that I could spend the day
beside you on a scratchy green couch.
Not an ounce of guilt
for when we finally gave in
to our desire to be
cats for a day.

I think I can officially count myself “caught up” for that one missing poem, since I technically wrote three poems on Saturday night, all of them about my childhood relationship with My Little Ponies (there was a My Little Pony pic that I used as a prompt in my Picto-Journal). Two of them were terrible, and really what just felt like a ‘warm-up’ for the third, which might actually be worth salvaging. But nobody ever said these poem-a-day creations had to be good! (If that were the case, I wouldn’t be able to count the dreadful six-liner I jotted out last night while my boyfriend was in the bathroom, but count it I did!!)

I met with my writers group tonight via webcam, which was an exciting change full of the suspense of wondering what-in-the-world-the-person-on-the-other-end-might-be-saying. Dropped connections, distorted voices, and frozen videos abound, but it was still really lovely to hear the voices and see the faces of my writing posse. They’ve promised to scope out better Internet possibilities. Technology could be so wonderful if only it would work!

I’ve been saving the best bit for last: I have a phone meeting on Friday with a publisher who is interested in an anthology of young, Catholic voices. I fielded his “fan-mail” to one of the Young Adult Catholics blog writers last week and decided to respond with a bit of a pitch. We had interest from a Catholic publisher over a year ago in doing a similar project, but his team decided our voices were just too dissident for their press. The press I’ll be talking with on Friday is much more comfortable with dissidence–and that’s the kind of press I like!