In Praise of a Pet
Little one, my first friend. I named you for a story, the 1950s volume,
my mother brought out like a surprise every
Christmas – Belinda, my rabbit.
all nose twitch and whiskers,
and power kicks when least expected.
Sometimes you would romp the garden,
tunnelling in the flowerbeds, excavating borders,
looking for an escape route, like that other story rabbit.
You always put up a fight
when we cornered you, guilty among the radishes.
One morning you left a surprise.
It was clear you had been to the ball,
no longer a stay at home, minding the hutch,
tending the run in envy
while your wilder cousins danced out by the full moon’s gaze.
Your prince wore a red fur coat and a special smile,
and I like to think there was a wild kiss chase,
where like Rhiannon, you didn’t stop –
not until he asked nicely.
There was no glass slipper, just ears
as a memento, placed beneath my favourite apple tree,
A lucky paw, unlucky for you,
dropped under the mulberry like a charm.
Little one, I never replaced you,
but I keep your power – always unexpected.
Flora and Fauna
This will last.
Your friends, and my own
Nearby In some lush meadow,
Soon I’ll join my ancestors In the earth,
To spring forth
Again; feed your young, Or dress a table.
When all is lost, loss offers new gains.
to shower you with daisies,
keep you fat on petals and love.
I promise to hold you
close to my heart when you feel afraid,
whisper soothing words
into your ears,
stroke them gently.
I promise to share my secrets,
to lavish you with affection,
even the parts of you that are worn.
Especially the parts of you that are worn.
I promise to lock sadness in a box,
hide it on a high shelf so you never
have to see how much life hurts.
I promise to open the gate,
release you into a field
and remind you every day
that you are home.
Honey Bunny (children’s poem)
The bunny scrambles with a rose,
hassles towards the valley and goes
to meet his lover waiting from long.
She’s jittery, livid and headstrong.
On reaching bunny bows on knees
and offers piece of cottage cheese.
Declining food she turns her back
and bunny gets anxiety attack!
Next up he gives her sugar ball.
and tiny effort hits the wall.
Then finally he gives the rose.
The happy lady jumps on toes.
She kisses bunny on his lip—
He smiles; all went as per the script!
I am caged, cooped up, kept in.
He pokes freshly pulled grass
and leaves through the thin wire.
I am bigger than this prison
he cleans occasionally
whilst I hop about the garden,
Explore escape routes, test fences
and garden walls for weaknesses, before
I am grabbed, cuddled and imprisoned again.
One morning he will find the door hanging
by one hinge after I have busted out.
One morning he will cry because I am free.