Alison Campbell

Animals have ruined my life

The Manx cat that cost a fortune to neuter.
The French poodle that needed
intricate clipping, a shampoo & blowdry.
Later I put my foot down –
a smooth haired guinea pig, Elvis,
from the Animal Shelter.  A dear
thing.  We even took him on holiday
to some wild sandy beach, thinking
of fresh air and exercise.
(Better than the open spiral
staircase in the city garden –
he sometimes scrabbled up a single
step.  We had nightmare visions
of him falling, so confined him
to his hutch.)
It was June – we smuggled him
into the Norfolk B&B.  It was windy
that week – his downfall.
A rogue wave dragged at the flimsy
wire run.  Washed it away while we
played frisbee on the dunes.
Only a few claw marks
left on the sand.

In my dreams
Elvis can swim.


Alison Campbell is a school counsellor from Aberdeen living in London. Her poetry has been published in Obsessed with Pipework, The Curlew, commended in the Barnet Poetry competition 2018 and shortlisted in the Segora poetry competition 2018.

3 thoughts on “Alison Campbell”

  1. I love the absurdity of it! But feel the loss of Elvis,
    ‘only a few claw marks
    left on the sand.

    In my dreams
    Elvis can swim.’

    Great poem!


  2. Alas poor Elvis . His scratch marks reminiscent of those loved and lost- sometimes through untimely ends. I know guinea pigs can swim as I know my rabbits outran the Fox! Loved the poem Alison! Ros Roog


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