Animal Behaviour

by Pam Newham

Two Egyptian geese pass my window.
The smaller one has a limp.
The other stops and turns back
as if watching over its mate.
It’s one of those moments:
an abandoned baby chimp
adopted by a Labrador,
swans that mate for life,
your cat curled in your suitcase,
eyes saying, “Don’t go.”
But then the larger goose flashes forward
and stabs its beak into its companion’s neck.
There is some squawking,
a brief flutter of feathers
and they continue on their way.
I watch them, one limping,
one goosestepping across the lawn.


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