The squatter – Cheryl Caesar

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The virus slipped in the back door
last Monday, while my back was turned.
Now he’s taken up squatter’s rights
on my body and my time. You thieving cold!
You robbed me of a whole weekend,
and all the work I’d planned.
I surely never signed a lease with you.
I wish I had Judge Judy here, to set you straight.
Instead I lie awake, my head dazed and sodden,
and fret. The temperatures are less than zero.
The cats are restless and alone.
My husband is out driving in the snow.
The house will fall apart, and the yard,
and all my classes, and the American
experiment with democracy. All because
you locked me out, you dirty scoundrel,
from the premises I had always believed to be mine.

About the contributor: Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University. She gives frequent readings locally. Since January, she has published political protest poems in Writers Resist, The Mark Literary Review, Cream and Crimson etc. In July she won third prize in the Singapore Poetry Contest for a poem on the ghost town of Singapore, Michigan and global warming. She has a chapbook out for publication titled Flatman: Poems of Outrage in the Trump Era. When it’s all too much, she escapes to books, cats and Michigan lakes. She dreams of swimming in an infinity pool of warm salt water, as she once did in Palermo.

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