Monday, August 24, 2015


From my view above, walking
the hall with the cat, she slightly leading,
her body sways a little with her stepping,
undulates, not like the track of an old river
seen from an airplane, sharply cut through the land,
nor a snake or earthworm---
which must exaggerate, side to side.

She makes a subtle, graceful sway.

I think of how that wide river of ungulates looks,
The elands, zebras, wildebeests, buffaloes,
seen from the airplane above,
in their Great Migration up the Serengeti.

The head does not sway, remains straightforward,
not so much in the hip or shoulder either,
with soft forward shift one leg to another,
but, living where the ribs are, that swing.

When I see that liquefaction
in my cat or in the hordes on TV,
I stare in wonder at how the four-legged ones
are made, how seen from above,
they move in that way by merely walking,
in a grace not only probably, but is.


Mary Ellen Branan


Poetry Society of Texas A book of the year 2012 awards
p. 118, Derry Tutt Memorial Award

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