20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


I wish that I could be a prowling cat
or, ghostlike in the wall, hear pieces, bits
of whispered conversation. Oh. He quits?
How can this be? I feel my heart fall flat.

I wish my dad had not deserted us.
I wonder what we might have all become
if he’d not gone away and left us numb.
I felt a big subtraction, never plus.

I wish my father had approved of me,
shown his encouragement or his support.
Instead, he and my mom wound up in court,
their marriage then dissolved. He, fancy-free,

married again, then two times more. I saw
him try for happiness. O, how I begged
for his attention, but I had him pegged
right, and I sadly saw the fatal flaw

that kept him locked from free and easy back
and forth relationships. And how I wish
than cancer hadn’t spilled its nasty dish
into his lap to emphasize the lack

he must have felt. I stopped my wishing then,
forgave him, overlooked much, and calmed down.
He, after all, had shared his writing crown.
He’d lived Days One through Nine. Soon coming? Ten.



Meditation with Cat, by Susan Dean Wessells

as a wizened nun
he nestles in my arms,
regarding his universe
with a contented sigh.

Mandalas of dust motes
morph new designs
while phantoms unseen
(by me)
draw his unblinking gaze.

Head tucked in
and upside down
he sleeps
(and softly snores).
I cradle him,
by his absolute trust.

A study in serenity,
he instructs me
in the zen of being.

“It seems if there is a cat in the house of a poet at least one poem will be generated extolling the feline. This is my de rigeur cat poem.”  — Susan Dean Wessells


Hyper Vigilance in Repose (Penny the Cat)

Penny the Cat is ever vigilant. Many hours a day she stares out the windows watching the movements of all manner of life’s twitterings outside. She meows, paces, cants her head this way and that. If she snoozes, it is out of my sight.

So, the other day, I had my camera in hand and there was Penny upside down, spread out, asleep atop a chair. I approached. She snoozed. Odd. I took a dozen pictures. She yawned, she stretched, she licked her paw, she gazed at me through half open eyes. Penny hadn’t a care in the world. The world was moving along outside without her. A very rare who cares moment from Penny.


Penny Mid-Yawn. Those piercing teeth clearly visible. A little tartar buildup it appears. The hair on the chair makes it evident this is where Penny sometimes lays her head. Vacuuming is in order. Isn’t a good lens so helpful,, if not embarrassing.

A quick grooming lick, the camera clicking away doesn’t alarm her.

Penny, mildly interested, and seemingly saying ‘go away’.


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