Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Mary and went to Ripon early yesterday, taking in the new stray Kittle-cat to be spayed. We call her Pumpkin Seed. We have taken in a lot of cats during our twenty-seven years living in Fairwater. Nearly all of them were strays. We have never had more than seven at any one time, I assure you, and the current population - with the addition of the new stray - is three. Certainly, if we'd known then what we know now, we'd have invested a lot more in the kitty-litter industry. I think the stray cats in town use a code to mark the doors of all the houses hereabouts; the code on our door apparently means: "Hang out around here - these people will take you in."

Well, after we'd dropped Pumpkin Seed at the vet's yesterday, we stopped at K-Mart for a few items. I can't say that I've ever gone shopping at that time of day but we were in town already, what the heck. I don't remember ever being in a K-Mart at 8:05 a.m. so I didn't know that a woman's voice would come over the loudspeaker - you could hear her throughout the store: "Would someone turn on the God switch? The God switch - someone - please?"

Mary admits that's what she heard too, but she didn't believe her ears, she didn't think that could possibly be what the woman actually said.

I dunno - I'd washed my ears before we left for town, so I think what I heard is what I heard.

My question is - where is the God switch and how do I get one?

About the Kittle-cat. It had been ten degrees below zero for a week before we were finally able to convince Pumpkin Seed to let us pick her up and carry her into the house. She was a cold and hungry little critter. After she ate, she got up in the window and cried like she wanted to go back outside. I guess she didn't realize yet that she was in heaven.

After she got home from surgery yesterday, though, maybe she wasn't thinking our house was such a paradise. Maybe she was hoping they'd STOP IT, whoever was playing with her God switch, flipping it on and off, putting her in heaven for a week, then putting her through hell.



I'm interested in considering your "poems of place" for publication in The Middlewesterner's "Saturday's Poem" feature. Send two or three of your best "poems of place" in the body of an e-mail addressed to tmmontag@dotnet.com. Put "Saturday's Poem" in the subject line. Then be patient. I will get back to you about whether I'll use one of your poems or not. Send along a short biographical note and information about where your books can be purchased and I'll include that along with your poem. There's no payment involved when your work appears in "Saturday's Poem," but the feature is seen by some high class readers. About fifteen of them, by our current count.


Moon on water -


a frog disturbs.


If not for
on the trees

where would be
the spring breeze?

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