Gap Year Letter from a Five-Toed Sloth

by Diana Brodie

Hi, Mum, I’m sorry that I missed the plane.
 How far is Heathrow, then, from John O’Groats?
 When next you come to meet me, take a train.
 I came here to observe the two-toed sloths.
 I gave that up. The species is extinct.
 (Since sloths could not be bothered using both,
they’ve all evolved to one-toed sloths, I think). 
I should have told you this, but never wrote.
I had no stamps. My pen ran out of ink.
Planes don’t pick up our mail, just leaky boats.
I’ve a bottle ready for this letter.
I’ll toss it in the sea. I hope it floats.
If I wait till spring, the current’s better.
I mention ‘spring’.  I need to make this clear:
(don’t tell Dad while he’s driving. Wait till later).
I can’t face coming home. I’m staying here.
My Gap Year’s for a lifetime, not a year!