Katherine Flannery Dering
Featured image: Secondhand boxes © A. Anupama 2019


The box is too heavy for me.
Its damp cardboard struggles
to hold the five shifting kittens.
My too-weak arms sag.
The second story window beckons
But the ladder won’t help.
The box is struggling now.
but cardboard can’t help it.
The kittens are surprisingly heavy.
My skinny arms shift the weight.
Feet test sagging ladder rungs.
The window teases from a dozen feet up.
The ladder is shifting in damp soil
My arms are loosing their grasp.
The kittens are struggling to leave the box.
If only the cardboard weren’t wet.
This box is too heavy for me.
But the kittens, the window, the kittens.