Two Poems

Barbara Swift Brauer

To the Cats

Already the arid fidget
of sparrow
quickens the yard,


their innocent hunger
sharp as an eggshell;
the relentless
flutter will not quiet.


We will slip the bell
from the neck
of the cat.


We will watch
through windows.




Late afternoon, the set is backlit:
     the November sun skirts the yard,
     falls on the neighbor’s hedge.


The foreground is in shadow. Someone is due, she thinks.
     Stage right, out the front door.
     Stage left, through the gate.


Her son tells her there are only two storylines:
     A stranger comes to town.
     A man goes on a journey.


Each of us has our own version:
     A single story told in infinite voices.
     Today she waits. Another day


she will rise from this chair
     walk out the gate to the road
     and, best shoes or not, start walking.

Barbara Swift Brauer is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in such journals as Nimrod, West Marin Review, The MacGuffin, Spillway, California Quarterly, and Banabe Mountain Review, as well as anthologies, including Beside the Sleeping Maiden and The Place That Inhabits Us. Her full-length poetry collection, At Ease in the Borrowed World, is forthcoming from Sixteen Rivers Press in 2013. She lives in San Geronimo, California.