The Lesson – A Sestina

We loved it as it was our child that cat
With face so wise and fur so black
And had it not scratched at my eyes
I would never have done it harm
But with that paw it did strike
And I had to teach it a lesson

Perhaps it ’twas too strong a lesson
That I did teach our beloved cat
Perhaps in play it did strike
And not with heart coal black
But it’s too late to undo the harm
I shall watch it now with kinder eyes

And I did watch with kinder eyes
After teaching that dreadful lesson
But its mournful mewing did me harm
Be still and silent God damn you cat
The knife stains red the black
The moment after I make my strike

My strike my strike yea my strike
What madness is this before my eyes
No heart beats beneath that black
Perhaps it’s I who deserves a lesson
Why would I hurt that beloved cat
I didn’t mean to cause it this harm

It’s to my wife I do the most harm
Though it’s her I would never strike
To own home I bring a new cat
To win back favor in her eyes
I swore to her I’ve learned my lesson
No more will my thoughts turn black

Yet here sit this cat with fur so black
And I know it plots to do me harm
Its single purpose to teach me, me, a lesson
And soon enough it will strike
Oh I know I know it will I have eyes
That wicked wicked evil cat

I’ll kill that cat before it does me harm
Darting black clever but I will strike
It down before my eyes it will learn its lesson.

Writing another villanelle proved too hard for me, so I went with something easier: a Sestina.

Which no doubt proves, were there any question, that there is something wrong with my thinking.

On the poem itself, It’s clearly a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic The Black Cat, without any of the wit, the skill, the tension, and the eye gouging.

Oh wait, we started out with that, didn’t we?

Carry on, then!


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