Sleeping in Tongues
Three of us breathing; me and dog and cat.
Wakening to a faint and plaintive mew,
I hold my own breath, ascertaining that
The sound comes from one of the other two.
I act upon an educated guess
And lay a hand on cat, who quickly twists
Into a different pose of idleness
And settles, silent. But the sound persists
So dog it is, who wheezes in a dream
That has bestowed on him the gift of tongues
And things both are, and are not, what they seem.
I let the captive air out of my lungs.
Three of us breathing, dog and cat and me;
by Ann Drysdale
BARKS Poetry Contest winner
Ann Drysdale lives in Old South Wales, UK, and has been a hill farmer, water-gypsy, gonzo journalist and single parent – not necessarily in that order. Her fifth volume of poetry, Quaintness and Other Offences, has recently joined a mixed list of published writing.