This poem is included in my book,
“I Have His Letters Still”, Poetry of Everyday Life.
The gatto nero understands its role.
Select one each day – for whom
normal misfortune is insufficient.
Then predict, for no predictable cause,
a tragedy indelibly etched on the mind
by the vision of the cat,
in the pathway of life.
Why stalk its victims? “Why not”, it answers.
This widely held secret –
it succeeds less that 25% of the time.
Batting average .249.
The coincidence of circumstances – not whom the cat chooses,
but whether it is lucky to have chosen someone
whom fate elects to notice that day.
As for the cat, its reputation precedes it.
Little does the world note its failings.
People consider themselves lucky
to have avoided the divination -
to talk about it further would be bad karma.