Sharon Larkin

Animals are Better Treated

We’d rather jab badgers than gas or cull
but first we have to lure them to our cage.
Now in the morning light and autumn chill,
we study one, not pied as they usually are
but white, leucistic. It is a ghost of a beast.

Better to rescue them than let them perish,
so we have to leave doors open for them.
But here, in our cool equinoctial nights,
we worry at the numbers needing succour –
unfamiliar tongues at our brimming troughs.

So we slam gates shut, lock ourselves in,
hug our hearths, brand ourselves inhuman.

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