The Cats' Strike
The cat's cough wakes him at night.
He turns in bed, gets up.
Puts on his dressing-gown because it's cold.
Puts on his slippers because he's barefoot.
Slowly he approaches the window.
Drawing open the curtain, stares:
In the street,
As far as Republic Square
Thousands of phosphorescent flares
Thousands upon thousands of cats
Thousands upon thousands of raised tails.
He closes the curtain.
And returns to his warm bed.
The cats' strike.
Serbian; trans. Michael March
& Dusan Puvacic
Novica Tadic, Serbian, trans. Michael March & Dusan Puvacic,
Child of Europe: A New Anthology of East European Poetry, Penguin, 1991.