The Strange One
When you reach home – deranged as a bumble bee
jabbering about carnivores, djinn, shadows,
I’ve just bathed Mngwa, plumped his brindled fur,
trimmed claws, dressed him in ginger silk pyjamas
and tucked him into bed.
He’s snoring like an armadillo.
You’re scared he'll slink out tonight on velvet paws
with pert ears, dripping fangs and eyes wild and keen,
off to the boondocks, where you believe he’ll spring –
rumbling and maiming entire populations.
I just hear him purring,
my donkey-sized, stripy tabby cat.
Helen Freeman grew up in the Turkana desert among many exotic
creatures and tales.