The boy is six. He watches, in the garden,
how the smaller birds ping down, bounce
on the twig bits at the end of the branches,
and how the bigger birds land on apples,
bite twice, hack them, let them drop, fly off.
He listens to the bush of bees, the buzzing.
He watches the dog eating, listens to her
snorting in her nose, and then he sees
that bright pink tongue lap round
in circles, wide fat rings, licking for juice.
He goes in, listens to his Dad and Uncle Ed.
His father’s looking serious. You know me, Ed.
And he’s tapping on his chest, punching it
in little jabs. A hundred per cent, Eddie,
a hundred per cent for family, me.
And his tongue too is licking round his lips,
but not in fat round slurps, like the dog’s,
but slippery little darts, like a snake.
Trust me with this one, Ed, he’s saying.
Your money will be safe with me.
Robert Nisbet, a retired high school teacher and college lecturer from West Wales, has been writing poetry for 15 years now, with hundreds of publications in Britain and the USA, where he has had Pushcart nominations from Sparks of Calliope, Panoplyzine, Shot Glass Journal and Burningword Literary Journal.