The tom with mordant eyes
and a squirrel’s gray tail is ugly,
but if suffering were beautiful,

the world would be fair
and he’d get extra fish
so much that his bony face
would soften with our love

he’d be glossy as any of us forgiven
for pain that repels even a mother,   
like all the sad friends
whose pills make them prettier--

the lone cat is afraid, unattractively.
Watch longer out my window,
where he warms the feet of a skinny tree,
one eye a leaf, a verge, green and good.