The caterpillar and the penguin

The caterpillar and the penguin
have gone for a walk across the room.
The caterpillar has chosen to go on its side,
feeling the carpet rub against its cheeks.
The penguin is following the rules:
left flipper, right flipper, left flipper, right flipper.
The caterpillar can jump now,
it’s on the bookshelf pretending to eat
a stuffed monkey. The penguin keeps walking.
The two-year-old hand around the caterpillar
spins it 360, tells it to say hello to a fireman,
offers it a vegetable ice cream.
The penguin keeps walking, gets grabbed
off its ageing operator, taken off course,
thrown into the middle of a wooden train set,
forced to adapt and see the world again.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

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