In the reflective window something stirs.
It isn’t the reflected cat, presiding on my legs;
the real one has not, as he often does, reached out
a restraining paw to subdue
his ever-active tail.     He is peaceful,
circular, even the tail at rest.

Nor can it be the blanket, uncannily restive;
though the reflection could be read that way.
He would murmur complaint if anything
on the actual bed were to move.

I must look further faintly to discern
that the movement is on the other side of the glass,
though what moves is not clear.

On study, I decide it is a quivering of leaves,
blowing, though they do not show as shapes
that blot out parts of the shiny picture of this room.

The framed glass of the window,
shaking, confirms the activity of
the air, the cold air, outside,
making the whole picture start and quake.

The cat makes the little half-snores
that pass, with him, for purring.
Voices sing on the radio.

A light beyond the leaves
enlarges and shrinks, like a pupil opening
then squeezing smaller.

The invisible leaves are
makers and breakers of pictures
in their wavering passage, hands
of darker dark.



Poem by Paula Bonnell


Paula Bonnell’s poems have won awards from New England Poetry Club, the City of Boston, and Negative Capability; appeared in The Hudson Review, Rattle, Spillway, etc. and in Airs & Voices (a Ciardi Prize book), Message, Before the Alphabet, a story of kindergarten, and tales retold. More at www.paulabonnell.net