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Maggie Sawkins: a poem

Our Pet Mother

If only she would come down

from the mountain and be

like one of the chinchillas

Mr Chapman spent eleven years coaxing,

we would wrap her in iced black sheets

just like he did

until she got used to the sun.

Then we would build a cage

right here in our bedroom,

tempt her with titbits of roots,

alfalfa and bark,

give her a tray of white sand

to keep her cool.

Each night we'd promise

to lift up the latch,

let her hop onto the carpet

and watch as she ricocheted

from wall to wall.

Then we would catch her and cup her

in the palms of our hands,

sink our fingers

into her plush grey fur

and feel her quiver. She'd be

so so soft we would almost drown.

Maggie Sawkins lives in Portsmouth and delivers creative writing projects in community settings.  Her live literature production "Zones of Avoidance" won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Her most recent poetry collection, Many Skies Have Fallen, is published by Wild Mouse Press. You can find her here:


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