A Shift in the Attic
I was swinging on the porch when all of a sudden I fell overand hit the floor. I don't know how it happened, but I stood up andbrushed myself off. I stood there for a minute, dazed, and felt myself all overto see if I was hurt. I seemed to be all right. I tested the swing to seeif it was broken, but it wasn't. Maybe it was an earthquake. I walked intothe kitchen and a teacup fell on my head. I thought that was mightystrange. I swept it up. I went back into the living room and sat downon the couch. I picked up the newspaper and read about a little girl whofell into a hole and was never seen again. It made me sad. How couldthat happen? There's an end to everything. My couch was sagging. I'mgoing to hit the floor, I thought. And then I did. I got up and looked around.This wasn't my house at all. Yes, it was. There was the little penguinon the wall, and the walrus beside him. I recognized everything, downto the little worm on the floor. I moved to the chair beside the windowwhere the light would be better. Now I could see my hand, not that I wantedto. It was all gnarly and grey. The chandelier was shaking. Then suddenly allwas quiet. My hands were glowing and so were my cheeks. I felt healthy andwise. I looked over at the staircase to the attic and there stood a moose.I nearly jumped out of my skin. But the moose was calm, just lookingaround. He walked over to me. There was a bowl of cookies on the tableand I started feeding them to him. He seemed to really like them. Whenthey were all gone, I walked into the kitchen. He followed me. Iopened the refrigerator and grabbed a head of lettuce and started to feedit to him. When that was gone I gave him a bowl of spinach, and so on.We were becoming great friends. Finally, there was a knock on the door.A man stood there and said, 'That's my moose.' I said, 'No, it isn't. It'smy moose.' He was really mad. He said, 'It isn't your moose. It's mine.''I swear it's mine,' I said. And while we were arguing, the moose walked outonto the porch, jumped the rail and was gone, never to be seen again.
Copyright © 2019 by James Tate
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
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