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Showdown in Tucker’s Alley

To the form of a poem called ‘The Duel’ by Eugene Field, I wrote this poem about a cat and dog, honoring the names of a couple of people who were co-workers of mine at one time.

Showdown in Tucker’s alley

The stray gray dog and the yellow cat
Hated each other and that was that.
And the other dogs and cats knew why
And always hid when the two walked by.
‘twas half past three that fateful day
To Tucker’s alley they came to play
And the ol’ fat rat knew it would be bad.
(But I wasn’t there where they were at
That’s what I was told by the ol’ fat rat.)

Tucker’s alley, they knew it well.
They both lived there for quite a spell.
It was dark in shadows as if day was gone
Never a body to come a long.
And the stray gray dog had been gone a while
Down to Horton Alley, south, a mile.
And the yellow cat was surprised when he came.
(At least that was the story from where I sat
Told to me, cautiously, by the ol’ fat rat.)

The yellow cat from low crouch, hissed
Jumped at the stray and barely missed
But the air was cluttered with mange and fur
With gray of his and yellow of her’s.
Tooth and nail; toe and claw
The grittiest fight, for all who saw.
There in the darkness of the afternoon.
(But, like I said, I wasn’t there
The ol’ fat rat was there, to stare.)

For over an hour the two did fight
‘til the end of the alley, shone its light.
The howls and hisses were no more heard
Just at alley’s end, a person’s word.
And the stray gray dog and the yellow cat
Disappeared, just like that.
And the garbage truck blew its horn.
And the dumpster held them tight within
Said the ol’ fat rat with a smirkey grin.
(Believe what you want about this and that
The story’s from the mouth of the ol’ fat rat!)

copyright © 2011 T.J. Gargano

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