Penguin Awareness

I’ve been aware of penguins
since I was three
and now I think that one
has moved in with me.

The signs are everywhere:
the saltwater smell in the air,
moulted feathers on my chair,
a fish I found upon the stair,

but when I turn around
there’s no one there,
for he moves in the shadows,
like Tony Soprano.

I am forever stepping in guano.

I’m not sure why
he’s come to live with me.
There are better places
for him to be.

But, when I go to bed,
his soft heels tread
across the kitchen floor,

and I hear him open
the freezer door

and I picture him there,
thinking about the hand
that life has dealt him

and I wonder
if his heart is melting.


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