He jumps into the open cardboard box
onto bubble wrapping at the bottom.
How well the medium inspires play!
The crinkly cracking sounds, the scrunching up.
Hiding under wraps and sudden popping.
Or just sitting there, luxuriating
within the confines of cat imagination.
He shames me to find joy in little things.
His walnut brain more curious than mine,
less willing to take everything for granted,
challenged to coax objects back to life
with the prodding of his paw’s forgiving.
I’ll never gripe I'm bored to death again.
Nor dare say that life is not worth living.
After retiring as curator of historic maps at Princeton University Library, John Delaney moved out to Port Townsend, WA, and has traveled widely, preferring remote, natural settings. Since that transition, he has published Waypoints (2017), a collection of place poems, Twenty Questions (2019), a chapbook, and Delicate Arch (2022), poems and photographs of national parks and monuments.