Neighborhood Visitor

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.

The Waiting

Jane Wong

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!


Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Arizona, Cats and Other Animals, Flora, Garden, and Landscape, Nonfiction

50 responses to “Neighborhood Visitor

  1. He is beautiful!

  2. Amy

    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?

  3. Wow–wonderful photo, and perfect poem to go with it.
    What a beautiful animal!

  4. Beautiful animal for sure, Luanne. Thanks for sharing

  5. What a beautiful creature!

  6. 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!!!!

  7. 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”!

  8. 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.

  9. That is a noble bobcat. Too bad they aren’t friendly!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. What a lovely kitty! They seem very comfortable in your neighborhood 🙂 And how wonderful to see that poem the same day. Perfect!

  13. Wonderful photo!!
    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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. How majestic! And how fitting the poem!

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