Maybe I should hand her the keys?

Rebecca: What should I write today?

Hyla: Write an ode to the fire.
R: That’s a good idea. What defines an “ode”?
H: I can show you one I wrote about Oyster.
R: Please do.

. . .

R: Oh, I like this! Can we post this today instead of something I write?
H: Sure!

Oyster in Repose

Ode To A Cat

The gentle
sits regally,
surveys his jungle-kingdom
and draws the curtain of
his private war chamber.
Sitting on the velvet cushion,
surrounded by his family, loyal courtiers,
the mighty cat sends out orders
to move this regiment here,
to send a gift to this nation.
Going through his daily routine,
he feels weary.
And one evening,
he meows to his faithful page, Hudson;
“I am hungry,”
the powerful rumble
of his voice fills the room.
His page offers;
“Anything, King Oyster.
I will go to the market
and buy it for you.”
The royal cat
shakes his head,
and his long white whiskers shine.
He wants to go to the market himself.
And so,
as the king wished,
they go to the market,
on foot,
the wind rips at their faces,
tearing up the feathery snow and dusting it
over their faces.
At the market,
the people stare and whisper:
“The king!”
And Oyster laughs;
leaping up to play with the kittens,
giving hard-earned rewards to their parents
and kin.
They pass large wealthy buildings,
bursting with delicious food,
and Hudson suggests them all.
The king shakes his head and walks on.
At the end of the path,
they come to a bleak hovel,
in which a wife cooks what she has.
The king orders the page to buy good milk,
cheese and meat, and to
bring them to him. Meanwhile,
he slips into the small house.
The wife does not recognize him,
and offers him some soup.
The king thanks her and laps it up slowly.
Hudson knocks at the door,
and Oyster opens it.
The kind cat and her family
revel in the delicious gifts
and thank the king
again and
The king and page buy a cheese
and go home.
He enters his palace again
and curls up by the crackling fire
my father stokes.

–Hyla Maddalena

November afternoon fire