John Agard, BBC

 

Books Make Good Pets

 

 

Books make good pets

and don't need

going to the vet.

 

You don't have to keep

them on a lead

or throw them a stick.

They'll wag their tails

When you flick

Their dog-eared pages.

 

Books make good pets

and don't need

going to the vet.

 

One curious look sets

them purring

on the cushion of your eyes

as if to say dear browser

you've picked me up before

and thrown me aside

but I have more than nine lives

and no need to keep twiddling

that piece of string.

 

Books make good pets

and don't need

going to the vet.

 

They'll burrow their way

through the dust of your mind

nibble at old ideas

to let in the new

and you don't have to empty

any droppings on a tray.

No thank you.

 

Books make good pets

and don't need

going to the vet.

 

They'll hibernate

in the shell of their covers

and patiently wait

as long as centuries

to be rediscovered

in their own good time

when some reader rolls them over

on their cracked spine.

 

Books make good pets

and don't need

going to the vet.

 

They're easier to care

than tropical parakeets

and sometime come in pairs

but they prefer to breed

in stacks and piles.

You don't have to feed

them sunflower seed

and just about anywhere

will serve as a nesting site

and from the perch of a shelf

they'll help you take flight

among the branches of yourself.

 

Books make good pets

and don't need

going to the vet.

 

They're as colourful as goldfish

in all their stillness

and believe me this is no whim

books can glow and swim

 

in the bowl of your imagination.

.