Today's poem is by Susan Wicks


He seemed almost to like animals.
He stroked their muzzles sometimes.
He was a kind man.
And he gave them no promises:
when the trap's teeth snapped shut,
their own light feet had triggered the spring.

There was no dishonesty in that, surely?
He wore a dark jersey in the dark,
only his hands white in the moonlight.
He did what he had come for.
What did you expect to run into,
stretched low as a shadow under the black trees?

And his bag was there to receive you
merely for discretion's sake along the moonlit path.
He only did what they all do,
except that he would use his voice sometimes
to coax the wildest ones forwards
on to the wire with a soft laugh.

Copyright © 2004 Susan Wicks All rights reserved
from Night Toad
Bloodaxe Books Ltd. / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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