mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Sport 42: 2014

On My Shoulders

page 183

On My Shoulders

I carried a three-foot gorilla,
his hairy legs clamped
at the prehensile toes
around my neck,
his big, jolly bonce
bobbing in time
with mine
as I walked to the ward
that smelled always
of toast, jam and necrotic lilies.

In the doorway
with my silly gift
I spied her face, lifted
to the warm window,
right arm under the blanket,
over her left breast,
the other hand in a fist,
pulped papier mâché
tissue poking out the top.

I knocked on the wall,
and—caught out—
she wrought her delight
in seconds: animated eyes,
happiest smile, little giggle at me,
and the surprise I’d brought.

Sure, he’d be a hit on the ward.

You could squeeze his hand
and make him roar.