Stealing the Affection of DogsRuth Padel
Bits of the world blow towards him and come apart
on the wind. He invents. He lies.
'I had a passion for dogs. They seemed to know.
I was adept in robbing their masters of their love.'
He steals apples from the orchard, gives them to boys
in a cottage and tells them to watch how fast he runs.
He climbs a beech by the wall of the locked kitchen garden
and dreams himself into the inner gloss
of raspberry canes. A forest, glowing in its net.
Emerald coal in a watchman's brazier.
He straddles the coping, fits a stick in the hole at the foot
of a flower-pot, and pulls. Peaches and plums
fall in. Enough to have begun an orchard of his own.
My father's. Valuable. The words hang in the trees
when the soft blobs are gone. He hides his loot
in shrubbery and runs to tell:
he has found a hoard of stolen fruit!