Starling Ghost

You must have come down the chimney when I
wasn’t listening. But the cat heard you.
The fireplace grates were knocked over and
things from the mantel were on the floor.

What does it feel like to visit me as a bird,
in the presence of a cat, with no voice
to explain – it’s me? Like Acteon, pursued
by his own dogs for glimpsing Diana
bathing in the stream with her nymphs? Wasn’t
I in the shower when you arrived
and the cat discovered you? I was dressing
in the bedroom when you flew in, landed
on the ceiling fan and lazily

rotated while the cat hunted you from
below. I shut the cat in the bathroom.
You flew to the sitting room. I closed the
bedroom door and got your leather hat
and a shadow puppet with a weak plan
to capture you and set you free outside.

But as I walked down the hall where I thought
I had you trapped, you disappeared, escaped
under the bedroom door. When I tried to
get you in the bedroom, you hid under
the bed. And when I opened all the windows
and took the bed apart, you weren’t there to leave.

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