Tamzin Whelan Headshots COLOUR LOW RES 1

A little thing

 

Oh our love, it was little like a green apple,

held close until it slipped buttery through fingertips

then we scoured the floor on hands and knees calling it back. 

It did not reply but you found it under the sofa by an ill-fitting sock.

 

We took it, trying to appease, picking off the hairs

stroking it softly and muttering somethings into its ears and mouth:

Remember, you came to us, we made you, you exist.

Don’t cry, look at us, don't tell us the broken truth, tell us those record lies.

 

It was angry that we’d let it get away.  It said nothing

but accused us by poking of negligence.  We did not like this.

Oh no, we refused to leave it then.  When it wanted rest we 

force-fed caffeine down its thin throat

 

propped its eyes open with tiny cocktail sticks, coaxed it to roll

through the motions.  When it was hoarse we made it sing the songs 

it used to know and when it stopped breathing

we’d sigh relieved before pumping it back into the room.

 

It would have hated us but it could not.  It just shrank 

till it was the size of a stationary pea and the touch of it left 

a bitter sheen on our skin.  Yes 

we were sorry.

 

When we woke to discover it gone for good, we wept: guilty jailer tears,

newly freed. 

 

Oh our love, it was so little.