Postcard from the Cat by Sarah Watkinson

(after Craig Raine)

Of their many prostheses the saddest of all are forks
to correct clawlessness. So many,
and so many different. Detachable, ranked by size,
the smallest for pinning down food −
detestable, pre-killed pap. I pity

their soft bodies propped at tables, in their paws
unresponsive metal that will never retract,
never clutch and tear with the whole arm’s force,
but instead turns weakly over into a mere scoop
to push mush between their hairless lips and pointless teeth.

And these little ‘dinner forks’ are no use
to prepare a latrine. For that
they use a ‘garden fork’ in a fastidious hand.
They turn and pat the earth, toss plants aside,
but then, forgetting their purpose, fail to perform.

Sarah Watkinson is a lifelong scientist and new poet. Her work has recently been published in magazines including Antiphon, Clear Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, Pennine Platform, The Rialto, The Stare’s Nest and Well Versed, and has won several prizes in open competitions.