Competition

We wake up on separate days
her on one and me on the other
and each morning there is a stray cat
at the front door waiting to come in.
It asks first for food and afterwards milk.

As I make my coffee
and think about how quiet I must be
these last few minutes before I make
the sleeping child’s lunch and breakfast
the cat sits inconveniently on the kitchen floor
and talks to me of his disappointment.

I am missing something
is what he seems to be saying.
The food, the milk
and then what?

It is obvious to me that on mornings she gets up
to perform the parental tasks and while I sleep in
something else is given to this cat
an extra of which I am unaware and cannot conjure.

It is in this way and without end
that I am being undermined.

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