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Steve Scafidi

Steve Scafidi

Steve Scafidi is the author of Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer (2001) and For Love of Common Words (2006), both from Louisiana State University Press. He is a cabinetmaker and lives in Summit Point, West Virginia.

Under the Collard Greens and the Poppies

White Kitty, Gray Kitty, Singie and Lee,
 Roughass, Christos, Caledonia and Getz,
Heather and Puffy, Bullet and Bunky  

 Liza and Carrie, Cutie and Myette.
Of approximately thirty shop cats
 over the years only four are left.

Scooter is alive but Dickie is dead.
 And Carrie lives but a tumor points
out of her head and she walks like

 a coon and shambles toward death.
Same for Arnie and Beth the foxes
 got and Li'l Bastard too we guess

who must have been tough to chew
 and Altie was hit by a car which is
the most common of all ways to die,

 his fat plush body still warm when
we found him and Alotta Sweetness,
 Alotta Sweetness so suddenly so

mysterious last year just fell over
 and today the fat three-legged one
we called Precious Darling and called

 Peachy too because Precious Darling
was so embarrassing to say--has died of
 old age--who had only three legs to leap

and grip the earth and catch mice with
 and did--roaming under the barn during
thunder storms arriving later in the arms

 of Hot Toddy who loved her and loves
all of the shop cats and feeds them special
 crunchies from a jar and speaks to them

with tenderness every day until they die
 and buries them in the garden under
the collard greens and the poppies

 and the honey-dew melons white
as moons so every night in the dark of
 death the garden's darling tigers bloom.

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