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(c) Laura Stamps

that balmy day in August,
only an hour after sunrise,
when I opened the curtains
in the kitchen to watch a cat
rolling the black raft of her
body in wild grass, and
suddenly the skitter of four
tiny paws dashed out from
beneath the porch, and
then four more, both kittens
tumbling over their mother
like tawny leaves surfing
an autumn breeze, each a
calico tabby, mirror images
of a feral male lingering in
the neighborhood since last
winter, and it was there, while
standing beside the stove,
the sun painting the pinewoods
with a dandelion glaze, that
I realized I’d been adopted
by a new family of strays.