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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. 

Dorothy K. Fletcher retired in 2007 after 35 years of teaching high school English in Jacksonville, Florida. Her poetry and articles have appeared in nearly a hundred publications, and she has written and had published seven books. A former columnist for The Florida Times Union,  Dorothy has written six Jacksonville histories, the first sof which earned her a Preservation Award from the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission in 2011.  At this point in her writing career, she has moved into fiction. Her latest novel, The Chambermaid, is set in the 1564 colony of Fort Caroline, which was located in the Jacksonville area. Dorothy still livees in Jacksonville with her husband, Hardy, close to their children and grandchildren. Learn more about her here.



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

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