One of the Elderly Women

To tell you the truth, it was Dolores,
not me, who wanted to bury that cat.
I just wanted to have a nice lunch and
rest my feet after all that shopping
at Dillard’s—you know, for bags
to put the cat in. That thief

did us a favor, before
she banged her head—
and now the poor soul
is sure to wake up with
a dead cat, nothing

else to show for it. I almost feel
like I should have given her my pearls,
just the costume ones, but it would have
been something. Something other than
a dead cat and a lunch uneaten, spoiled.

I saw it when it came out
as the thief was being lifted
onto the gurney; it was
chicken salad with grapes,

just the thing for lunch on a Tuesday
by yourself, alone in your booth
except for the shopping bags
beside you, still full of promise.

The Dead Cat in the Package


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