Animal Guess Who
It makes the car journey
shorter. My daughter picks, I ask the questions
and she fills in the gaps. I discover
they run fast, have soft fur,
they look friendly, they don’t bite.
I guess, her strawberry curls
tumble over her smile as she nods. My turn.
I think of parrots – their primary coloured
loudness; the willingness to imitate,
effects of learned behaviour.
I think of kangaroos; their built-in papoose,
the way a child warms a stomach.
I think of elephants; their grounded solid feet.
How they hold such weight
on their backs.
After the first fell to crumbs in my hands
I undid the wrapping.
They’d looked so solid in their foil
when I plucked them from the shelf
but I wasn’t careful enough
when I took them home.
I tried soothing one with Earl Grey.
It fell apart, sank without trace.
They were just the last thing to crumble.
Only biscuits: production-lined
and mute. Not hearts
like yours and mine.
Tomorrow I’ll visit the corner shop,
pick more wisely next time.
(Broken Biscuits won third prize in the 2013 Southam Lions Poetry Competition and was published in an anthology accompanying the competition).
Claire Walker’s poems have appeared in various print and online publications including The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat and Tears and Kumquat Poetry. In June 2013 she won third prize in the 2013-2014 Worcestershire Poet Laureate Competition. She blogs at thegirlwhogrewintoacrocodile.wordpress.com