Poems of the Week

Happy News from Downing Street

by Julia Griffin

For Sophie—and all the other cat women in my life

“It’s Larry the Cat’s Seventeenth Birthday”

Downing Street, associated
Usually with poorly-rated
Statesmen blathering or snarling,
Fêtes this week its feline darling:
Larry, prince of impassivity,
Marks his seventeenth nativity.
Since age three (so most consider),
He has served as rodent-ridder;
Civil to our budget-wrecker
Chancellor of the Exchequer;
Stepping past policemen neatly;
Checking up, but most discreetly,
On the resident Prime Minister,
Howsoever dumb or sinister,
Slick or slacker, bland or blust’rous,
Lettuce-like or still less lustrous.
Five of them he’s duly greeted,
Four seen slope away, defeated;
Though they fill his bowl, or flavor it,
Never has he owned a favorite.
Larry, model politician,
Credit to your high position!
By your admirable labors,
You have made, for all your neighbors
And myself, mere out-of-towner,
Downing Street a lesser downer.