by Toni O'Brien
Stuffed into a papersack, a living beer can
tossed into a country ditch from a '65 Ford pickup...to die
Barely five weeks born, with peanut butter M & M fur
Maltball eyes shut fetus tight, ears half buttoned
Your Licorice tail bristling indignation.
Momma found you mewling in the crushed rye ditch
Seeking a warm tit to suckle,
Momma cooed, "Kitty, Kitty!"
You stumbled on booted paws,
Infant radar to her voice,
Sun brittle, rose-flecked garden gloves
Brushed the ditch from fur and paw...then
Pressed you to Momma's dirt-faded denim sanctuary.
Toni L. O'Brien
Copyright 2016 (Original version written Nov. 1980, revised 7/6/2016; won the Paul Hughes Writing Award, Spring 1983, 2nd Prize, East Central University, Ada, OK)