A Girl and Her Cat: A Sestina

This poem is something that I wrote a few years ago for a poetry and poetics class. It’s still one of my favorite poems that I’ve written.

Lying on the table, waiting to be read was a fantastical book.
The room was dark, except for a small lamp for light.
She entered the romantic getaway-like scene. The girl,
Eager to begin her trip to another world, starts a fire.
Sitting patiently by the plushy couch, is the yellow cat.
From the back of the couch, the girl takes the afghan blanket.

Around her chilled body, she wraps the blanket.
Now, it is time to delve into the world in her book.
But someone else has other plans, and the cat
Jumps into her lap, between the book and the light.
She smiles; it’s nice to be cuddling in front of the fire,
The cat also enjoying the time with her girl.

“Kitty,” she says. Purring, kitty loves her girl.
The girl laughs, cat fur is getting on the blanket.
She pets her friend and stares into the roaring fire.
Yes, she thinks, I can wait to read my book,
The lamp is turned off. Dancing flames are the only light.
“Purr, purr,” restates the content yellow cat.

That is enough petting, thinks the pleased cat
And it jumps out of the comfortable lap of the girl.
Satisfied that her love was shown, the girl turns on the light
And snuggles deeper into her afghan blanket.
It is time once more to read her adventurous book.
The only sound in the house is the crackling fire.

It is hypnotizing, the dancing orange fire
That reflects in the glassy eyes of the cat.
She turns to page one of her long awaited book,
“Once upon a time, far away, lived a little girl…”
it began. But did she have a cat or a cozy blanket?
Did she ever read by lamp and fire light?

Outside, the moon shines its celestial light,
Peeking in through a window, jealous of the roaring fire.
The girl wraps tighter the corners of the blanket
Around her. Falling asleep at her feet is the cat,
Who will dream of catnip toys from her girl,
The one who always pets her before reading a book.

After a while, she unwraps the blanket and outs the light,
She closes her book, then feeds the hungry fire.
The cat wakes only to go to bed, following her girl.

Wanna help write a sestina? Check out the Crowdsourced Poetry project on the University Press of North Georgia’s Facebook page. We’re working on line 6 over there. Help us come up with our sixth and final end word.

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