This Angel, by Llewellyn McKernan

This angel

is a sweet young zebra-striped

thing. Once it had scales

Now it has wings.

Its beak is bonny,

its breast is yellow, When it wants

to be heard,

it knows how to bellow.

Feed it some shoestring, feed it

some lace. Feed it

your flesh, tell it

to its face how skinny

its neck is, how wrinkled

its socks, how shabby the rug

where it sits and rocks.

A lover by night,

a servant by day, it reminds

you of all

there is yet to say.

When the moon comes out

and knocks down the door, when

all the stars

have nothing to adore, this angel

is known

for its high-flown speech,

for coming at once

when your blood needs a leech.

It will take your death

in its tiny green claw and squeeze

it to death. But that’s an old saw.

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