Purrsday Poetry: Reader Over My Shoulder by Rachael Z. Ikins


Is my secretary.

Always dressed, fur-trimmed white

Long sleeves and pants.

She has double-jointed thumbs,

One blue eye, one gold.


She pat-pat-pats the monitor

As it wakes up each morning, beep

And scrawl. She sits behind

Where it begins to warm, head cocked.

She curls in front, guardian of

The keyboard cover. I worry

One day I will come downstairs to start

My  writing and she will have been

hard at it since 4 a.m., cat-poetry

About mice, birds, and invisible winged

Things, a better poet than I.


Cats cut through red tape

Right to the heart of the matter.

Fangs-deep in your jugular. When we

Finish our evening’s rub, she and Katie

Faced-off over my body, Cherie acquiesces,

No blood tonight. She stretches her front leg,

Spreads her seven strange fingers across my face,

That hand. Equipped to scratch

A pot-bellied pig’s itchy back, paw of

Ownership, she sighs.

Or disapproval.

Rachael Z. Ikins

Associate Editor Clare Songbirds Publishing House, Auburn NY
2018 Independent Book Award winner (poetry)
2013, 2018 CNY Book Award nominee
2016, 2018 Pushcart nominee
@poetreeinmoshun on Instagram
@writerraebeth on Tumblr
@nestl493 on Twitter
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