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Beanie the Cat

(Photo: Beanie in the Tunnel, June 2, 2020. Anne Ehrhart.)

November 6th, 2020

Anne and I have been holding our breath
for three days, trying not to think,
or feel, or contemplate the implications
of another four years of madness
if our current president should win,
astounded it should be so close
we still don’t know who won.
What kind of country could this be
to have so many voters ready
to return to office such a man?
Dishonest, criminal, amoral,
pathologically narcissistic,
ignorant, uncaring, vile. A grifter.
One struggles to avoid despair.

But then there’s Beanie, curled up
beside my wife, sound asleep. She’s
had her breakfast, asked and gotten
some attention, belly scratched, ears
massaged, green eyes almost iridescent,
happy, I suppose, at least content
if purring signifies contentment.
What goes on behind those glowing eyes
we’ll never know, but she’s not worried
in the least about elections, this
or any other. She’s got us. Moreover,
we’ve got her. Reason enough, perhaps,
to face whatever’s coming next.

W.D. Ehrhart is an American poet, writer, scholar, Vietnam veteran, and active member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He was a 1993 Pew Fellow in the Arts, and has been called “the dean of Vietnam war poetry.”

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