In my effort
to be a good sport
about it all,
I forgot to take
the badgers into account.
I remembered the partridges,
jaguars and stoats,
the turkeys, oxen
and hamburger rats.
Even those mythical denizens
that I’d never thought
would spend their time
loafing around–
languid chipmunks, carnivorous deer,
handyman’s companion woodland porpoises.
I spent so much time
coming up with beasts
that I lost the line
between natural occurrence
and fairy tale claptrap.
I was up to my neck
in creatures both seen
and unseen when a platypus
splashed my face
with lukewarm water,
growling like a feral cat
and formally reminding me
that the badgers had started
gnawing at my ankle.

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