Halloween’s aftermath often finds me with a renewed appreciation for everyday, year-round spookiness. This week’s poem, “The Cat Arrives in Two Parts,” revels in the slinky, spine-tingling uncanniness of a common household companion.

Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. She is the author of eight books of prose and poetry, most recently, “Chestnut Ridge,” a verse history of southwestern Pennsylvania. She lives in Portland.


The Cat Arrives in Two Parts

By Dawn Potter


Snaggy is the greeting

half—ears, teeth,

eyes, claws—

monster, soft little murder

machine, but it’s never clear


he knows he has a ghost—

the Tail,

twitching bloodbeat,

shadow-flag, flick

of spine & spite.


Their parade circles

the sparrow-path.


Megan Grumbling is a poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “The Cat Arrives in Two Parts” copyright © 2019 by Dawn Potter. It appears by permission of the author.

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