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From Pingandy by Harvey McQueen

To Anne

Our foolish cat patiently
watched me cut liver into
cat-sized pieces, then, as
I dropped it to her dish,
sprinted out the open back
door to sit mewing at the
closed front door waiting
for me to let her in. Cats
rightly enter with style.

Think, sometimes, I act like
that, not accepting what
you abundantly offer, without
creating needless difficulty.

Giraffes & Iceblocks

Rebecca
the most talkative three-year-old niece
silenced temporarily by the giraffe
suddenly states
'he can't talk.'

James, her brother, aged six
'God made him that way' & tall.

Several cages later
sleeping lizards
scornful Rebecca adds
'they can't walk.'
Then eyes light up
'ice-blocks at the 'oo.'

James marshals us to the kiosk.
'Thank you Auntie Harvey,' she says.
Not very good on gender our Rebecca.
A licking peace descends
until, 'now lions!' she demands.
'They eat people,' James tells her. 'Don't fall in!'

That night they play hippos in the bath.
Later, James interrupts this baby-sitter's TV
'I've had a dream about dying and I don't want to.'

This one's beyond me -
cuddle and comfort as best one can
diversion
'Did you like the zoo?'
Talk him to sleep and to bed.
When the parents come home
he stays asleep, but Rebecca wakes
'Lions at the 'oo and iceblocks.'

'Were they good?'

They were

I felt so, too.

©Harvey McQueen























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