'Old Cat and Dog' by Lucy Dougan | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

The old cat and dog
now sleep in our room
in an uneasy truce
between the floor and bed.
It is as if they are not sure
the house exists
once we no longer light it
or move about it,
once we lie down
in agreement it is night.
It’s come to sit on my chest,
their Stilnox camaraderie,
and when I wake in snatches
I have thought different things.
Perhaps we are at sea
and this is our cabin
or perhaps without quite knowing
how or why
the rest of the house is demolished,
its surfaces wrecked, its innards divulged
in a fuselage of darkness.
Mornings are a strange venture.
As I keep night for them,
so they – treading out first –
herald in the day for me.

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.