Wishing to Believe

In the shop of chimes and mysteries we chose the waving cat.
Maneki Neko—perfect, white plastic,
trimmed with gold and red, one paw raised to the sky.
On our kitchen windowsill, it sat—ushering
good luck in, bad luck out. So we believed.

It ticked like a clock as it waved, only,
it never made it right through a whole night—
slowing to a halt a few hours after sunset.
Perhaps the long Scottish winter nights defeated
the solar panel by its feet—as they did us, in the end.

Another culture’s talisman—perhaps its makers
had no need for protection while they slept.
Didn’t they know the worst furies travel when the light is dead?
Or maybe we didn’t read the instructions properly
and the nuances were lost in the seas of translation.

A caul of cooking fat condensation
stained the cat’s shoulders yellow,
while the year of the tragedies broke our spirits.
We didn’t take it with us when we had to leave—
perhaps it is there still, waving.


f.e.clark_waving cats 2F. E. Clark lives in Scotland. She writes, paints, and takes photographs—inspired by nature in all its forms. A Pushcart, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions nominee, her poetry, flash-fiction, and short stories can be found in anthologies and literary magazines.
Website: www.feclarkart.com  | Twitter: @feclarkart

Featured photo credit: F.E. Clark