Poems of the Week

Song for a Small Guitar

by Julia Griffin

for Beth

“‘Extremely Obese’ Owl Rescued After Becoming Too Fat To Fly
The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary […]’s head falconer, Rufus Samkin, told the BBC that the area where the owl was found had been crawling with voles and mice due to a mild winter.
‘We think she’s just done incredibly well for herself and overindulged,’ he said.”
—The Huffington Post

The Owl and the Owlman were both at sea,
Though not in the self-same boat:
The Owlman (Rufus) was quite fat-free;
The Owl had a case of bloat.
The Owl looked up at the stars above
(She lay in a deepish ditch),
And sighed “Oh Rufus, oh Rufus my love,
That mouse was rather too rich,
Too rich,
Too rich;
That mouse was rather too rich.”

Rufus said to the Owl: “You inelegant fowl,
You’ve binged till you’re quite obese!
Come, look to your diet: it’s vain to deny it;
This gorging henceforth must cease.”
So he kept her away from her rodent buffet.
Who knows how the foodie felt?
But after a week with a monitored beak,
Her shape was slender and svelte
And svelte
And svelte:
Her shape was slender and svelte.

“Dear Owl, are you willing to limit your killing
To half?” Said the Owl, “I’ll try—“
And in token of proof, as a gesture to Rufus,
She shrugged as a bunny went by.
She dined on beans, and spinachy greens,
Which are rare in an owl’s milieu;
Then hand in hand on the Stonemarket Strand
She danced with Rufus à deux
À deux,
She danced with her Rufus à deux.