doggerel & catterel

sitting on the sofa, laptop on lap
wondering what to write a poem about
whilst over in her basket by the cupboard
her head resting on a cushion
that actually has a picture of her head on it
a lurcher version of the Turin shroud
Lola is giving me a look
so professionally woebegone
it would make a robot sob
so of course, what else could I do?
I think about moving my legs
Lola is up and on the sofa
before my feet are on the floor
turning round a couple of times
then slumping into place
running through such a repertoire of chop smacking,
backward glances and eyebrow raising,
it’s perfectly clear
how disappointed she is in my behaviour
but – of course – blessed as she is
with a limitless capacity to forgive
she somehow finds the strength to move on
and starts scratching her ear
with an elegant back leg
quickly building up speed and intensity
until it’s a terrifying whirling blur
like the release of an over-wound toy
and just when I think I should intervene
because she’s in danger of ripping her ear off
and sending it flying across the room
it strikes me (I mean a thought does,
not the ear, thankfully):
isn’t this a bit like me?
metaphorically scratching my head,
wondering what to write a poem about
and then – something else:
maybe I could write a poem about how writing a poem
is a bit like a dog scratching her head
but of course, she’s stopped now
and her ears have flicked up
she’s heard something interesting
that demands her complete attention
something coming in through the cat flap
It’s Solly, Lola
You know?
Solly – the other animal that lives here?
The cat?

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