Dawn Corrigan

The Parable of the Cat

One night Adam and I went out
to the dog track to play a tourney

but unfortunately we forgot
to follow rule number one, which is

always, always take separate cars
because invariably one of you

busts out in the first couple rounds
and one makes the final table,

and then, to make things worse,
about three blocks from the entrance

a cat ran right up under the wheel
and Adam, a real cat lover,

had to decide whether to ditch
or sideswipe the other car

but before he could make a decision
it was thunk, thunk, dead cat,

leaving him mentally devastated
in a way I hadn’t seen before,

and we both played like shit
and busted out in the first hour

because we made two bad decisions:
the second was buying in while

emotionally rattled but the first—
we both said it at once

as we walked in and ponied up—was
“We shouldn’t have ridden together.”

Found poem from our realtor’s email, sent when we expressed concern about having seen a “bad omen” at a house. His counterargument was that there are no bad omens, just bad decisions, accidents, and freak occurrences that rattle us, leading to more bad decisions.

Dawn Corrigan bought the house.