A secret puppy you weren’t allowed to show to anyone
Not even your best friend or your worst enemy
You wanted to pat him, stroke him, cuddle him
All the time you weren’t supposed to touch him.
He only slept for five minutes at a time
Then he’d suddenly perk up his head
In the middle of school medical inspection
And always on bus rides.
So you had to climb down from the upper deck
All bent double to smuggle the puppy off the bus
Without the buxon conductress spotting
Your wicked and ticketless stowaway.
Jumping up, wet-nosed, eagerly wagging-
He only stopped being a nuisance
When you were alone together
Pretending to be doing your homework
But really gazing at each other
Through hot and laxy daydreams.
Of those beautiful schoolgirls on the bus
With kittens bouncing in their sweaters.
By Adrian Mitchell