I have this great photo to share with you. I did not take it, but it is one of the bobcats from my neighborhood. My neighbor found the animal resting in his yard, so he snapped this image. What luck! And what gorgeous animals the bobcats are.
This poem was in Poem-a-Day this morning coincidentally.
I was waiting for something
to arrive. I didn’t know what.
Something buoyed, something
sun knocked. I placed my palms
up, little pads of butter, expecting.
All day, nothing. Longer than
that. My hair grew, fell out,
grew. Outside my window, I felt
the flick of a tail in September
wind. A bobcat sauntered across
the grass before me, the black tip
of its tail a pencil I’d like to sharpen.
I immediately hushed, crouched,
became a crumpled shock of
joy to see something this wild,
not myself. It turned to look
at me, its body muscular in
the turning. In its mouth was
the tail of a mouse drained of
blood, dangling diorama of death.
Sharp eyes looking at me and then,
not. Its lack of fear, its slow stroll
across the stream’s bridge, fur
lacquering its teeth. Sometimes
what comes to us, we never called
for. How long had I been crouched
like that? I stood up, blood rush
trumpeting. My arms wrapped
themselves around myself, lifted.
It was as if a bank vault had
opened and I was just standing
there, stealing nothing.
Copyright © 2021 by Jane Wong. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 17, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.
Make it a great week!
50 responses to “Neighborhood Visitor”
One big cat!
He is beautiful!
He certainly is!
Wow! Just wow! I wonder how your cats would react if they saw a bobcat out the window. Would they hiss and growl? Would there be any species recognition like dogs always seem to know another dog even when they look nothing alike?
You thought of something that is mystifying me. How come I never hear or see a reaction. The window our bobcats pass by in the backyard has a window seat that is sometimes occupied by one of my cats. I have never seen it pass by when one is sitting there so maybe it just hasn’t happened yet.
My guess is that they would arch their backs and puff up their tails. Keep me posted!
Perry might! The rest of them have old arthritis backs ;). They might have to just puff up their tails hah.
Sometimes I wish I had a tail to puff up!
LOL, it would help, huh?!
Wow–wonderful photo, and perfect poem to go with it.
What a beautiful animal!
I wish I could get a shot like that, but I was thrilled my neighbor let me have this :). That poem was pure serendipity.
I love when that happens! 😀
Beautiful animal for sure, Luanne. Thanks for sharing
I was so happy my neighbor said I would “have” the photo to share as I wish :).
Yes. nice person.
What a beautiful creature!
I think so, too!
Wonderful poem and photo. And how synchronous! I love the surprise and joy in the poem. That’s exactly how I’d feel. 🙂
I could hardly believe when I read the poem since I had already posted the photo earlier in the morning. I completely understand the feelings in that poem!!!!
I love how the bobcat is framed by the green vegetation in back and the green and yellow in front. And great timing for “The Waiting”!
Isn’t that amazing that that particular poem ended up in my mailbox yesterday morning?! The bobcat is so beautiful he could be framed by junk ;)!
It sure is! I thought the bobcat had a bit of an inquisitive expression on his face.
He looks wise, too, and as if he’s starting to figure out humans.
Yes, he does appear to be deep in thought.
I don’t think I’d be able to breathe if I saw that. Then it would be a mad dash for my camera. I know these cats are a threat to all your little pets, but what a treat to see this cat.
Such a treat. I read that this is very unusual to get a pic like this. Even in areas like ours where bobcats are learning to live near homes, they generally are still difficult to photograph.
Thanks for sharing it with us!
That is a noble bobcat. Too bad they aren’t friendly!
The bobcats here have been neutral to us. I mean, I’m scared that if one of my cats got outside accidentally it would be all over. But with us humans they act as if we don’t bother them and they won’t bother us.
Good attitude. We could learn from them.
Attitude or cattitude hah. Yes, we could!
GREAT photo! So relaxed and regal looking. It’s as though he owns that spot and don’t bother him while he’s chillin. They have so little space of their own anymore. Seems like he’s willing to share though. Wow!
So far so good. The ones around here act like they want to share the land with us. Of course, nobody in my neighborhood dares to put their animals outside alone. Bobcats even prey on deer!!!! which we do not have here. But we have bunnies and quail and lizards and rats. Apparently it’s very hard to get a photo of a bobcat like this!
What serendipity – the picture and the poem! I can understand why having them there makes you uncomfortable, I’d be worried about Winston, but they are beautiful!
So beautiful. And, yes, to serendipity!!! But it’s scary. When my daughter’s little dog is over it worries me. She likes to run free since we have the wall, but that wall obviously doesn’t stop the bobcats.
What a lovely kitty! They seem very comfortable in your neighborhood 🙂 And how wonderful to see that poem the same day. Perfect!
I know. An amazing coincidence. When you get a sec write me how you’re doing with class IF you get a sec!
Will do 🙂
The poem was intriguing, too…
What a coincidence, huh?! How are you feeling?
Better this week, but my face is very slow to get back into presentable for receiving visitors. Regardless, Pretty is bringing our granddaughter to see me for a couple of hours today. She thinks I need to see her – I just hope I don’t frighten her!
It looks so serene and regal, but it’s expression also shows how alert it is. What a happy co-incidence with the poem. A special moment in your day.
We have a bobcat at our beach house (though no photos so dramatic). Like the poet, what gets to me is the nearness and total lack of fear. Wildness, sauntering through our lives.
How majestic! And how fitting the poem!