A Spot of Milk on the Counter
By Jim Jenner

Dreamt-up felines gather around it,
Padding it with soft paws
As anyone might a fragile thing,
So I left it there, by the sink,
And watched them sop it up happily
Strangers sharing a common plate.

It grew to be a habit with me
A ritual spillling of milk
Before I made coffee each morning,
Considered things I must say
To people I hardly knew
About subjects I hardly know myself.

Their pleated meows edified the exchange.
I held up a teaspoon like a microphone
And preached to my legion of cats
For they would support my views,
Look past my excesses and demand
Little, anything for the milk.

Remarkable incentives I offered, cutting
The cardboard container wide open
To squeeze a few delicious drops
Then folding it back for later.
Maybe I notice the picture on the carton
Of a kidnapped child

As I practice my speech for tomorrow
I pour the coffee into a grand mug,
Palliate the bitter oil with grain sugar
To settle the effects. The cats purr,
Safely protected in my decisive care.
Terror is when the milk's all gone.



James Jenner is a senior at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. A student of literature and American Studies, he aspires to teach someday at the university level and open a used book store. His influences include, Cormac McCarthy, Robert Hass and John Freeman, a lesser known but highly talented poet. As of this writing, he resides in Southeastern Michigan just outside the boundaries of Downriver. His favorite animal is the koala bear.


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