The Why of Prey by Bonnie Carasso

Are you stalling, stunning

with your furry stealth, your mallet paw,

to avoid your victim’s bite?


Or are you a hunter, seething

at the domesticity

of kibble, nip, and bells

stunting your prowess—

the proudest part of you

hobbled by love.

Now, I see you have another

flailing spaghetti tail, dangling limbs,

muffled squeak—

As it twitches in your paw,

you stare at me

remind me, once again this morning,

that when you leap the fence into my garden,

not even the orange tip of your tail is caged.

That you visit me to hunt or claw

or purr beneath my tender touch

on your terms alone.