Feral Ferocity & Two More

By Diane Webster (February 2023)

The White Cat
, Pierre Bonnard, 1894


Feral Ferocity

Knowing I’m dangerous
I retreat into the shed.
My butt jams into a corner
where slivers of wood
attempt to distract my alertness.
I see with enough light
I hope no one sees me.
My ear hairs comb sounds
into threat or benign
as well as my nostrils
wide for scents or nonsense.
Like unconsciously tapping
nails on a table
my claws extend, retract;
my muscles flex into memory
pounce position every second.
I crave someone to enter.

Blood spurts between my fangs
until the heart beats a last rhythm
against my chest, twins for a moment.
I feast in feral ferocity as I savor
each shorn morsel of flesh,
and I make myself comfortable
in the same corner splintered
a might more.



From the Bridge

You wouldn’t think I’d be able
to jump from the bridge
not after when I was a little girl
my dad held me over the dam’s edge
to see what was on the other side
and pretended he was going
to drop me and laughed.

You wouldn’t think I’d be able
to jump from the bridge
being afraid of heights so much
that I was called “flat lander”
and teased that standing
on a newspaper was too high.

You wouldn’t think I’d be able
to jump from the bridge
since I can’t swim
or open my eyes underwater,
but what does it matter?

If I want to jump from the bridge,
I’ll get mad enough at all
those naysayers that my anger
will summon the courage enough
to step outside the box
like when I swore I wouldn’t go
back to the counselor’s office
in junior high when she didn’t
believe me or didn’t listen
when I needed help.

I pretended I was fine then;
I pretend I am fine now.
No one thought I’d jump
from the bridge.


Silhouette Climb

Up the staircase I climb
a silhouette
until I step into the darkness
and merge with only the rail
to guide me upward
like the white dotted line
in the center of the highway
reflected back in headlights
barely cutting the night.

Perhaps the rail continues
with steps left behind,
and I climb onto nothing,
plunge or hang fingernails
on the rail … for a moment
wondering how far I could drop.
Only a step? As far as I climbed?

What hides around the hairpin turn
that my headlights haven’t
illuminated yet?
If I speed ahead faster than light,
will my life flash before my eyes
before I blink?


Table of Contents


Diane Webster’s goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life, nature or an overheard phrase and to write. Diane enjoys the challenge of transforming images into words to fit her poems. Her work has appeared in El Portal, North Dakota Quarterly, Eunoia Review, and other literary magazines. She also had a micro-chap published by Origami Poetry Press.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast