Green Hills Literary Lantern



Rumors of Your Death


The city gathers up its shadows

and blinks out.  I shall worry

at the window until the last

rumors crawl from the mirror.


This is a night to visit those things

that cling to what names a man

when he least expects it.

How shall I sleep if you wander


away from my dreams? 

The cat is locked up in the church

again.  Once she kills and eats

her meal, she'll howl for a while


in the sacristy.  In the morning

I'll find her sleeping and purring.

She helps me understand

the neutrality of good prayers,


the ways in which the universe

means it, how life winds its way

through one rumor at a time.

One night death will move in


and take her.  A cat is only a cat

I tell myself, glaring as best I can

at what waits for each of us. 

Tonight I'll howl along with the cat.








Fredrick Zydek is the author of nine collections of poetry. a biography of Charles Russell and two novels. Formerly a professor of creative writing and theology at the University of Nebraska and later at the College of Saint Mary, he is now a gentleman farmer when he isn’t writing. He is the editor for Lone Willow Press.