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The Gift by Ed Ochester

The Gift

by Ed Ochester

(from A Geography of Poets, edited by Edward Field, Bantam Poetry, 1979)


One day

as I was lying on the lawn

dreaming of the Beautiful

and my wife was justifiably bitching

out the window

at my shiftlessness and

the baby was screaming

because I wouldn't let him

eat my cigarettes,

a tiger cat leaped over the fence,

smiled at my wife,

let the baby pull his tail,

hummed like a furry dynamo

as I stroked him.


My wife took the car to get him some food,

my son began to sing his wordless song,

and I wrote a poem in the sand.


Now God give every man who's hopeless

a beautiful wife,

an infant son who sings,

and the gift of a sweet-faced cat.



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