Windowsills Are for Cats by John Greeves Polly is a feline creature brightest when she’s energised by the glow of the sun. She’s curled, mat-edged to the fire in winter, looking sad and distant as she yearns for spring and the coming heat of summer.
On hot July days she perches on the third storey windowsill of our flat, book in hand. She sits, back pressed to a tasselled cushion, her naked legs bent up towards her chin turning pages transfixed by the pulsing sun. Sometimes her long bronzed limbs slide room bound to the kitchen for a cool refreshing drink. If she meets me en route she’ll wrap her arms around me to share her delight. “How heavenly,” she purrs before she slinks outside to her sunny spot. I’m always warning her about the danger. “What if the unimaginable happens?” I say, giving her my most concerned expression. “I don’t think I could bear it.” She only laughs and smiles tenderly which destroys all resolve and good intentions. I’ve tried saying it with flowers, placing a window box of red geraniums where she sits, but she looked so sad that in the end I relented and carried it downstairs to cheer up old Mrs. Thompset. She hasn’t been the same since her tropical dream holiday when Fred died of beriberi. Polly was delighted by my change of heart. She stopped pacing the carpets and scratching the
sofa with her long nails and sidled up to me her green eyes full of loving admiration. Then the saddest thing happened. I heard her piercing cry and the thump of a body hitting the pavement. In a micro second she had turned my world upside down. My stomach knotted, “Not Polly,” I cried jumping out of the shower and grabbing a bathrobe. I hurled myself towards the open window. A bare sill, “Oh my god,” I screamed as my wet feet slipped and I fell through it. I remember landing on top of a passing taxi, he was very reasonable about the large dent. I remember the neck brace too and Polly squeezing my hand. “You silly thing,” she whispered in the ambulance. “All that fuss just because I dropped my book.”
John Greeves originally hails from Lincolnshire. He believes in the power of poetry and writing to change people’s lives and the need for language to move and connect people to the modern world. Since retiring from Cardiff University, Greeves works as a freelance journalist who's interested in an eclectic range of topics.
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