by Elsie Hayward

For Tammy the hamster

I think perhaps nature made you
Soft for us, because there’s no sane
Reason for you to wear a cloud for a coat.
If there is in your littlenesses
Some ancient, statue-high message
I think it is not a lofty one.
You speak more in the warm
Thereness you bring on my shoulder.

You are but a small piece of animal,
Complete with all deep, rhythmic
Workings of life scaled down to fit
In a furry pocket. Somewhere in all
That honed clockwork, there’s a part
For character, for the way you stand
And stare, posed upright for the cameras
Of our gazes, and squawk over the news.

You are always warmth and weight and wool
And a face like undisturbed waters.
And your eyes are so big, as though
Life has nothing you wish to miss.