That first time,
I found them,
a moving lump
behind the bales,
stuffed in a hole.

Sounds echoed
half cat, half dark
cupboards under stairs,

I ran.

Next time,
a week later,
you came with your
mouth in that I am two
years older way,

a mother cat,
ears flat back,
hissed so our
insides squirmed.

We didn’t look for them again

That time,
months later,
we saw them struggle
in the long grass behind
the dairy,

one kept falling,
a leg shorter,
a spine twisted.

At teatime,
words fell across the table,
inbred settled on my tongue
made my mouth
feel full.

About the Author:
Elisabeth Kelly is a mum and a teacher. She lives on a hill farm in the Scottish Borders with her young family and too many animals. She started writing poetry again in 2020 and will or has been published by Dreich Poetry Magazine, Eyeflash Poetry, Foxglove Journal, and Hedgehog Poetry Press in two anthologies. Her debut collection will be published by Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2021. She was shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award 2020. She loves chocolate puddings and the change of seasons.