It was Easter, we were looking for something to eat
before a gig; we were tourists wandering a street,
canal on one side, on the other a row of houses.
Our eyes slid sideways to glimpse through windows,
idle curiosity in a city we had never been before,
the picturesque home of pottery and Vermeer.
A ladder in a boat leaned crooked against a wall;
we stood and watched it for a while, in case it should fall
and, as we turned to continue on our way, amber eyes
caught our attention, in a dusty window, where flies
studded spiderwebs, the interior empty and dim.
A cat was watching, and we stared back at him.
We wondered if someone fed him or if he lived off rats
that crept out from the canal to tease the local cats,
or mice from nearby cheese shops, fat with Boerenkas.
We smiled at the cat and tapped on the grimy glass
before leaving for the restaurant, where we would eat our fill,
wondering about the Delft window cat – I wonder still.
Kim M. Russell, 29th April 2021
Image by Raisa Milova on Unsplash
Today’s prompt is called ‘in the window’, in which we are asked to imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. Mine is an autobiographical narrative poem.