The Stray

He wanders about


to let the whole town know

he’s there

with his loud, mournful cry

both in the dark

and in the daylight

sounding like a wind-up siren

winding down –


and slow –

amplified by narrow lanes

and tall, stone walls.

A sorrowful aria

of life on the streets

in this southern village

where the streets

are a cat’s life.

The white of his orange and white fur

is grey

and his face shows scars

from fighting for his place

and food the townfolk leave

in front of markets and homes

on rooftops and walls.

Earning such keep

keeping rodents at bay

among the many ruins.

Among the decay.

Belonging to none

except the pitch black feline

he’s permitted to mount

and nap near

neath parked cars in the piazza.

When I hear his cry

I sigh

and want to take him in.

But his feral ways

would not find their place


or in my arms

from which he bolts

when we meet on the roof

and in the streets.

But now and then

when our eyes meet

he lingers

and calls out

to let me know

he sees me as well.

Author: Anne Celano Frohna

I have been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil in hand and would not feel complete without it. And I actually made a meager living at it (and as an editor) for 25 years. I worked for newspapers and magazines, in graphic arts and advertising, and wrote several local history books. But I have also taught English in Japan, been a Nanny in Italy, worked in and for museums, was an Airbnb Superhost for four years, as well as an Etsy shop owner where I sold vintage items I found over the years of thrift and yard sales. After moving to Arizona with my family in 2010, I completed a series of different writing projects, including two books of creative non-fiction: Just West of the Midwest: a comedy (Based on journals I kept during my two years as an English teacher in rural Japan.) Within Close Range: short stories of an American Childhood (Short stories and poems about growing up as the middle of five children in suburban Chicago.) I've also written children's stories and continue to write short fiction, but have recently found my voice in poetry. This blog, however, is where my greatest passion comes alive. I am also a mother of two wonderful girls, Eva (23) and Sophia (21) and wife to one wonderful husband, Kurt.

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