Admire my pet badger Rigby, raised
from a whelp on milk, lettuce, carrots,
and then gophers, rabbits, and cats
which he knows how to find for himself.
Go ahead, scratch his bull neck.
He’s good natured with me and friends.
One day a full grown wild badger
is reported in a nearby field,
terrorizing livestock and farmhands.
The owner wants my badger over
to chase the other one away.
I take Rigby off his ten foot chain
and push him through the barbed wire.
He clacks his teeth and runs to meet
the mean old gray one, who stretches
curiously upright on hind legs.
The two sniff, circle each other,
finally waddle a footrace together
over the hill, into some brush.
Hours pass. In the yard over beer
I ponder ingratitude across the world.
Nightfall. A nearly full moon rises.
A furry nudge at my bare foot. Rigby.
Our eyes meet. I look for his chain.
First published in Negative Capability; reprinted in
Edward Morin, Labor Day at Walden Pond (Roseville,
MI: Ridgeway Press, 1997)
Edward Morin writes poems about animals and birds in which he tries to take them as seriously as they take themselves. Some of those poems occur in his chapbook, Housing for Wrens, published in 2016 by Cervena Barva Press. Collections of his poems include Labor Day at Walden Pond (1997) and The Dust of Our City 1978). Transportation: Hot Tunes and Blues from Motor City (1988) is an album of his recorded original songs. He is currently a co-host of the Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series of readings and a writers’ workshop in Ann Arbor