Jane Mosse
Captain Mahy's Cat

He cast the sea aside,
sank
into a marriage
run aground,
a wife
nagging and scolding
until
the cat arrived,
meewing and wowing.

When  he rose with the sun
she tripped him on the stairs,
lay sprawled sarcastically by the hearth,
pounced on his pipe,
left by the back door
returned by the window
slid down the chimney,
cat’s eyes
smirking,
smug
in her
furry
contentment.

Yet when wife no cat.
When cat no wife.

While the washerwomen
met to launder their gossip
she lurked in the shadows
and when  they branded her nose
with sizzling iron
her human cry
confirmed
their suspicions.

As La Daume Mahy
tended the burn
on her face
he aimed the barrel,
taunted by this fickle feline,
straight
at his wife’s
purring satisfaction.

Jane Mosse who has lived on the island for seven years, has since 2008 been working on a series of poems based on Guernsey legends.