The Victorian Cat

by John Whitworth

My grandmother was nine years old
And had a dental plate
When she saw Queen Victoria
In eighteen-eighty-eight.
My grandmother wore button boots,
The Queen was very great

And dressed in black and very short
And also very fat;
She had a black umbrella and
A funny little hat,
The Queen I mean. My grandmother
Could well remember that,

And how the button boots would squeak
And how the plate would click
And how the sandwiches at tea
Had honey very thick
And how she tore her pinafore
And how the cat was sick.

And being short and fat myself,
And also rather bald,
I feel it like a story from
The morning of the world.
I’m sorry now I never asked
Just what the cat was called.

“The Victorian Cat” previously appeared in The Shit Creek Review.


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