I barely noticed it at first: it lay silent in a corner,
unfazed by laughter, tears, irreverence.
While I auto-piloted through a bureaucratic haze, it may
have twitched an ear, held out a paw as if saying
‘I’m still here’. It was ignored.
But as days took on new patterns, I became aware,
saw it start to grow. Before long it emerged full-size
to prowl, wrap itself round my legs or lash my arm.
Some mornings I awoke and thought it gone;
others I found its chill weight on my chest.
Weeks passed. Although I learned to lock it in the house,
at times it would escape, stalk me, grab me by the throat
so that I fought to find my voice. As everybody says, time
will tame it, blunt those claws, those teeth.
I know, I know.
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