by Cathy Larson Sky

You might assume I am just along for the ride
but without my delicate weight her broom
would lose its balance and flap,
willy-nilly, across the sky.

Nights, I sit, idly mousing the kitchen
floor while she combines, in her leaky cauldron,
powders: faery dust, newt’s eye, oil of poppies,
trying to conjure pixies, nixies, naiads.

Often I am bored and bathe myself twice
turn around clockwise and become a fur ball
musing on my literary ancestors: Geoffrey,
white-faced Simony, Pangur Ban—
or commune with my obsidian likenesses
guarding Pharoah’s fathomless tombs.

My tribe is undervalued, our lot plain:
saucer of milk, warm place to sleep
a few small fishes, a door
for going in and out.

Small payment for the way
I ride the foot of her bed
like the prow of a skiff on the Nile
and part, with my copper-backed orbs
the dark curtains of night
making safe the way
for my mistress’s dreams.

Cathy Larson Sky writes novels, poems, and freelance articles when she is not playing
Irish trad fiddle. She has an MA in Folklore from UNC Chapel Hill and now lives
in Spruce Pine with husband, dog, and cat.

About Familiar—The fact that it was near Samhain (or Halloween) may have had something to do with my choosing to write about a cat. Like a cat, I love adventure, but more so my warm spot by the hearth.