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Ode to the Lizard
Dorothy K. Fletcher


When I find them dead
in my closet or crisp
shriveled behind the stove, 
I want to cry for what 
they suffer at the paws 
of my cats, at their
fear of my redeeming hands
that make them
run       hide     starve.
how their maimed
little bodies catch
my housekeeper’s eye
and I must carry small corpses
outside to the swampy
world they loved and
where they could not
figure a returning. I try
to keep the lizards from
harm’s way but haven’t
the speed it takes to catch them,
their skittering motions
too attractive for
kitty eyes—the felines
rarely miss their mark.
I rarely rescue fragile lizards
surely descended from monstrous
dinosaurs of eons past—those that ate
small mammals for dessert
are appetizers now
for my cats. The irony.


This poem won Honorable Mention in the Eugene Walter Writer Contest.
Copyright by Dorothy K. Fletcher.
Used here with the author's permission. 

In 2007, Dorothy K. Fletcher retired after 35 years of teaching English in Jacksonville, Florida, and discovered life as a writer. Her poetry had already appeared in 78 literary journals, magazines, and anthologies when she became a monthly columnist for the Florida Times-Union. A collection of those column essays became the book, Remembering Jacksonville and, since then, Dorothy has published 2 more books about Jacksonville—Growing Up Jacksonville and Lost Restaurants of Jacksonville. She is now tackling the job of monthly blogger/columnist for BUZZ Magazine with “Dining through the Decades.” Dorothy and her husband Hardy continue to enjoy retirement with their children and grandchildren nearby. Learn more about her at


Post New Comment:
Enjoyed your poem, Dottie.
Posted 10/09/2014 08:13 PM
Larry Schug:
Great observations, both with the internal as well as the external eye.
Posted 10/09/2014 09:32 AM
Dare I say, a "fun" poem about a unique experience...
Posted 10/09/2014 08:55 AM

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