Monday, 3 February 2014

THE GLOVE

Of the poems I read yesterday at Triptych, this one proved the most popular.  As it happens it was also Dannie Abse's favourite from my pamphlet 'Tiny Disturbances'.  It was originally published in the ever-dependable magazine 'The Interpreter's House' (Issue 49), in 2012

THE GLOVE
for Pom

Ten of us perhaps had already passed
and it was you, my friend, with whom I walked,
who noticed first the baby rabbit
bang in the middle of the lane, on its side,
an eye open, lightly breathing, barely living.

Obviously we had to put it from its misery.
I remembered killing a broken-winged pigeon
with a shovel, how it took two whacks at least,
how something inside it refused to die
or something inside me lacked courage to kill.

But you looked about, saw a single old glove,
mangy, filthy, forgotten at the wayside,
and declared that’s what it’s there for,
took it from its yellowed plot, curled it in your palm,
and tenderly scooped up the baby rabbit,

and set it upright off the beaten track. We stared
for half a minute: no motion, but no death either.
You were sanguine: better closer to the earth,
come life or death, than exposed on the path.
I was waiting for you, so you moved first.

I was waiting because whatever sentimental
anthropomorphism I had just witnessed
seemed not that at all, but a lesson in love,
and you do not leave before your teacher.
And you may wish one day for such a glove.


Wynn Wheldon


3 comments:

  1. What a lovely poem. I have seen the same in Tessanna.
    Allison

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovely poem. I have seen the same in Tessanna.
    Allison

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yes, they see stuff the rest of us don't.

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