for my mother

Cat tips cup to lap
the water, dribble on

her chin, and crow drops
pebbles in a glass

to solve his thirst.
A stranger once poured me

this riddle: which
holds more, this cylinder

or that? Drops fell
as she transferred the water

to the fatter, squatter
from the leaner, longer

cup. I pointed
to the latter. Stranger

scribbled in her book.
“No, no,”

she saccharined, “there is
the same in both,”

then pulled
a pink stuffed kitten

from her purse. A base
reward: how could

Interrogator know
I took as evidence

the blotter’s damp
and spreading stain, that is

the fallen drops, i.e.
her pouring lack? And in

our kitchen! Well
she could have asked

how many stripes on tabby
cats; I would have answered

—cinch. It was
a schoolday; I

had work to do
(a spelling bee

tomorrow and
addition). As I sat

I knew the daylight
savings wasted.

Copyright © 2003 Meghan Hickey. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Bellevue Literary Review (Volume 3, Number 1, Spring 2003)