It’s hairless as an egg—
why bother petting that?
It doesn’t purr or groom your leg,
and yet you feed the brat.
Instead of catching mice,
it grapples with its socks.
It’s never taken my advice
to use the litter box.
It can’t climb up a tree,
it can’t chase balls of string,
it leaves you zero time for me—
just eat the wretched thing.
‘Fluffy Weighs in on the Baby’ is reprinted from Walking in on People (Able Muse Press)
Melissa Balmain writes: “The great light poet Bob McKenty calls himself ‘an editorial cartoonist who can’t draw.’ Given my fondness for writing persona poems, I think I qualify as a method actor who can’t act. As you might guess, adopting a persona lets me try on fresh points of view and say things I might not think to say (or dare to say) as myself. Plus, it can be a fun vehicle for mockery—as in ‘Fluffy,’ which aims its claws at new parents who ignore their pets. (Yes, I was one of those new parents…) Over the years I’ve attempted to channel not just animals and fellow humans in my poems, but also cartoon characters, plants, water, Satan, a dictionary, and, in my latest book, fairy tale characters. It’s the closest I’ll get to a SAG card.”
Melissa Balmain edits Light, America’s longest-running journal of light verse. Her poems and prose have appeared widely in the US and UK. She’s the author of the full-length verse collection Walking in on People (Able Muse Press), chosen by X.J. Kennedy for the Able Muse Book Award; and the shorter collection The Witch Demands a Retraction: Fairy-Tale Reboots for Adults, new from Humorist Books. She is a recovering mime.