I have swerved on rain-slick roads to avoid rabbits,
other times felt sick when I realised that thump
was a cat there was no avoiding.
I’m not one for bringing home strays,
don’t get me wrong-
I’ve never repaired a broken wing
but I make a show of myself at funerals,
to the point I don’t do wakes unless I really know the people,
and they know the kind of me.
What I’m arguing here is there is nothing in my nature
that accounts for my reaction when my mother phones tonight,
telling me you have collapsed.
The news doesn’t take a flinch out of me,
no regret is drawn to the surface, there are no tears to divine
from some deep well where better feeling might have survived.
In the car I listen to Arena, sing along with the jingle.
I park up; leave the hazard lights on as asked
to mark the house for the ambulance driver.
I go to the kitchen where you are lying in the recovery position
and I think how like a badger you are,
and smaller than I would have guessed.
My sister is on the phone, mother is packing a bag,
I watch awareness shudder through you, your eyes narrow.
You try to lift your hand. Your leg scuffles on the floor and you raise your
I say don’t move motherfucker. No I don’t, but I think it.