In a Dusty Window in Delft

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

grayscale photo of cat looking at the window

Image by Raisa Milova on Unsplash

My response to NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-Nine, also linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night

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.

51 thoughts on “In a Dusty Window in Delft

  1. Makes you wonder when you leave with unanswered questions. Like could I have taken it home with me? Or bring it some food? Even stay a little longer? Cats in a window are intriguing, you set the stage well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A painterly narrative, where the decorum of travel finds shadings of meaning in “a Delft window cat.” And it’s told at a stroll, paced in memory and a lingering question. Well done — Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like Brendan’s words “painterly narrative”, because your beautiful prose establishes a wonderful sense of place. Thanks for this slice of life poetic. Sparkling prose seems to be something we share. Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What I really like about this is the observational quality, taking in the sights as tourists, paying attention to details like ” studded spiderwebs” you catching a glimpse of “amber eyes”, and those eyes looking back. This poem is very visual in so many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Delft with all its beautiful blue ceramics could have been there to lift up one’s joy for the day besides the windmills, ever-present canals, and opening draw-bridges everywhere. Hank was in Delft some long time ago! Thanks for the memories Kim!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the story you have created with your poem, and the mystery of the cat you leave us with…Well done!
    I liked these lines…
    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.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the way your words tell a story and describe so much. This seems quite a vivid memory and your rhyming is so subtle in couplets that just move the narrative on. Yes, the cat in the window haunts with its possible neglect and your poem paints a portrait worthy of the Dutch masters.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kim,
    This poem reminds me of my favorite thing to do when I travel, walk the streets at random. It is the wandering and looking that is so fun. I could place myself in this.
    I always enjoy your poems.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Kim,
        That is why I love to reflect back to other poets in this community. Everyone want to have a reader, a listener, to know that their words have landed somewhere. I received your words today and I am returning them back to you.
        Have a restful evening.

        Liked by 1 person

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