Autumn News From The Donkey Sanctuary

By Ken Babstock

Cargo has let down
her hair a little and stopped pushing
Pliny the Elder on
the volunteer labour.
During summer it was all Pliny the Elder,
Pliny the Elder, Pliny
the — she’d cease only
for Scotch thistle, stale Cheerios, or to reflect
flitty cabbage moths
back at themselves
from the wet river-stone of her good eye. Odin,
as you already know,
was birthed under
the yew tree back in May, and has made
friends with a crow
who perches between
his trumpet-lily ears like bad language he’s not
meant to hear. His mother
Anu, the jennet with
soft hooves from Killaloe, is healthy and never
far from Loki or Odin.
The perimeter fence,
the ID chips like cysts with a function slipped
under the skin, the trompe
l’oeil plough and furrowed
field, the UNHCR feed bag and restricted visiting
hours. These things done
for stateless donkeys,
mules, and hinnies — done in love, in lieu of claims
to purpose or rights —

are done with your
generous help. In your names. Enjoy the photo.
Have a safe winter
outside the enclosure.

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