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More poems by Vernon ScannellVernon Scannell | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments (16) | Books by Vernon ScannellBooks by Vernon Scannell

A Case Of Murder

Vernon Scannell

They should not have left him there alone, 
Alone that is except for the cat. 
He was only nine, not old enough 
To be left alone in a basement flat, 
Alone, that is, except for the cat. 
A dog would have been a different thing, 
A big gruff dog with slashing jaws, 
But a cat with round eyes mad as gold, 
Plump as a cushion with tucked-in paws--- 
Better have left him with a fair-sized rat! 
But what they did was leave him with a cat. 
He hated that cat; he watched it sit, 
A buzzing machine of soft black stuff, 
He sat and watched and he hated it, 
Snug in its fur, hot blood in a muff, 
And its mad gold stare and the way it sat 
Crooning dark warmth: he loathed all that. 
So he took Daddy's stick and he hit the cat. 
Then quick as a sudden crack in glass 
It hissed, black flash, to a hiding place 
In the dust and dark beneath the couch, 
And he followed the grin on his new-made face, 
A wide-eyed, frightened snarl of a grin, 
And he took the stick and he thrust it in, 
Hard and quick in the furry dark. 
The black fur squealed and he felt his skin 
Prickle with sparks of dry delight. 
Then the cat again came into sight, 
Shot for the door that wasn't quite shut, 
But the boy, quick too, slammed fast the door: 
The cat, half-through, was cracked like a nut 
And the soft black thud was dumped on the floor. 
Then the boy was suddenly terrified 
And he bit his knuckles and cried and cried; 
But he had to do something with the dead thing there. 
His eyes squeezed beads of salty prayer 
But the wound of fear gaped wide and raw; 
He dared not touch the thing with his hands 
So he fetched a spade and shovelled it 
And dumped the load of heavy fur 
In the spidery cupboard under the stair 
Where it's been for years, and though it died 
It's grown in that cupboard and its hot low purr 
Grows slowly louder year by year: 
There'll not be a corner for the boy to hide 
When the cupboard swells and all sides split 
And the huge black cat pads out of it.

Submitted by Andrew Mayers

Added: 29 Jun 2002 | Last Read: 19 Jan 2019 2:24 PM | Viewed: 36373 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/5071/ | Viewed on 19 January 2019.
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