February by Margaret Atwood

Laura found this poem, perfect for helping us through the hardest part of winter.

February by Margaret Atwood

Winter. Time to eat fat

and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat, 

a black fur sausage with yellow

Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries 

to get onto my head. It’s his

way of telling whether or not I’m dead.

If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am 

He’ll think of something. He settles

on my chest, breathing his breath

of burped-up meat and musty sofas,

purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat, 

not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door, 

declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory, 

which are what will finish us off

in the long run. Some cat owners around here 

should snip a few testicles. If we wise 

hominids were sensible, we’d do that too, 

or eat our young, like sharks.

But it’s love that does us in. Over and over 

again, He shoots, he scores! and famine

crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing 

eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits 

thirty below, and pollution pours

out of our chimneys to keep us warm.

February, month of despair,

with a skewered heart in the centre.

I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries 

with a splash of vinegar.

Cat, enough of your greedy whining

and your small pink bumhole.

Off my face! You’re the life principle,

more or less, so get going

on a little optimism around here.

Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.

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