'Girl on a Rug with a Cat' by Lucy Dougan | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

The girl on a rug with a cat
is an entirely decorative proposition.
She curls, the cat curls, even the rug
displays some notion of this movement
with its diverting curlicues.
Life, too, is making a start inside the girl
although she cannot know this right now.
Some contract with another is being made,
even as we speak, on the rug with the cat beside her.
The striped ginger cat grows its hairs.
It is not the cleverest cat.
Somewhere some time a worker,
who cannot be revealed in this schema
but who nonetheless has left a signature of sorts
in all the curlicues, made the rug.
They weren’t paid well.
Perhaps they got by.
Were they a girl with life beginning inside them?
And did they own a cat,
perhaps a goat, or duck or a pig?
In this scene a lot remains unknown,
just as it always does.

Lucy Dougan

Lucy Dougan

Lucy Dougan

Lucy Dougan’s books include White Clay (Giramondo, 2007), Meanderthals (Web del Sol), and The Guardians (Giramondo, 2015), which won the WA Premier's Book Award for Poetry in 2016. She holds a PhD from UWA on representations of Naples. She currently works as Program Director for the China–Australia Writing Centre at Curtin University.

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