Pets I've Never Had

A cage of stolen birds, pleading for release, arthritic
yellow feet gripping the bars, little heads bobbing
“Yes, yes, we promise.”

A cigar-length slug, speedy enough to zip from under my bed
like a big gangrenous toe gone mad.

A teary-eyed marmoset, certain of public boiling at any moment
for past sins he can’t remember committing.

A dog named Pinky who howls from a well, while in the house,
the family listens and spreads frosting on crackers.

A chubby white cat that could survive a German Shepherd
snapping it from side to side by its bloody tail.

A hamster who sucks spaghetti into its jowls,
then lets me pull it back out, noodle by noodle—a clever scarf trick.

Clad in tiny wooden marching boots, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig
clopping across the front porch, in search of a purple heart.

Three badgers, each missing an eye, huddled under a bridge,
dreaming fortitude.

A dark hound, bits of green glass in his teeth, dastardly
grin, eyes of a felon.

A snake, of any kind.


Originally appeared in Tamaqua
© Julie Price Pinkerton- All rights reserved.