The cat's cough wakes him at night.
He turns in bed, gets up.
Puts on his dressing-gown because it's cold.
Puts on his slippers because he's barefoot.
Slowly he approaches the window.
Drawing open the curtain, stares:
In the street,
As far as Republic Square
Thousands of phosphorescent flares
Thousands upon thousands of cats
Thousands upon thousands of raised tails.
He closes the curtain.
And returns to his warm bed.
- The cats' strike.
(translated from the Serbian by Michael March and Dusan Puvacic)
Novica Tadić (b.1949) is a Yugoslavian poet who was born in Montenegro and lived in Belgrade for most of his life.
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