Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Cathy Caffeine



author’s note:

It's become my tradition to post this poem, every year, in honor of International Women's Day.


CATHY CAFFEINE

This poem commemorates
the obscure child book character
Cathy Caffeine:

the tug boat that volunteered
to tow a skyscraper over the oceans
from Shanghai to Manhattan--

a proud prow willing to drink
galleons and galleons of coffee
in a valiant effort to keep
her steam pressure up.

No one ever noticed her
despite the sun flag on her mast
despite a heart
she had enlarged
so as to pump squall waters
from the furnace room.

No one ever heard her engine groan--
they only saw the skyscraper
sliding smoothly through seas
that bucked and brayed:

the edifice gliding
as if guided by a god

but since no god
ever appeared before them,
people came to believe
the skyscraper might be
a god itself.

From such mass opinion
Cathy Caffeine concluded
she'd done nothing of consequence--
     despite the pain
     in her main beam,
     a pain that ran
     from stern to bow--

she still believes she followed
a monumental monument
even though
that momentary monument
always shadowed her.

The Cathy of this child book story...

can be found all over the world--
can’t we see them?--look:
how the churn
of their propellers
gives the planet
its spin.



© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Survival: the book

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3 Comments:

Blogger Goldenrod said...

FUNNY, Michael!

Thank you! I needed an additional giggle today.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Goldenrod said...

Me again, Michael,

I just finished reading this poem for the third or fourth time, and found no humor in it at all. Isn't that strange? (Must be the mood I'm in, or perhaps it's the mood I was in the time I first read it?)

I'm going to be posting a blog a bit later today -- and, if you don't mind, I'm going to be linking your site. I think some of my readers might like to know about it and perhaps add it to their "Favorites" list.

You have a lot to say.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Thanks for the link. Actually, I don't find the poem that funny either. I'm reminded of those "tugboat" women I used to see in the CBD of New Orleans--struggling to open the door to some big office building early in the morning, their arms full with everything from Christmas decorations to boxes of doughnuts. They didn't just tow their bosses around--they towed the whole damn office.

3:16 PM  

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