If I were braver I would (September 26)

Don night’s shades, or thereabouts, as I adopted the necessary disguise
Which would include wrapping firmly up my eyes, Zorro-like,
To take advantage of a still-early moon, its framed moment
A perfect pause before evening’s adolescent hours descend into
The regular, monotonous, teacup slumber of its lunar middle age

When, adopting careful pose, I could mimic the fence-line
Tracing a slow path against its grey, decaying teeth
Until I reached a point previously determined from which to
Launch this delicate operation and, confident of my success,
Discover a toe-hold on one rail, grip and pivot

Now finding myself in enemy territory, crossing the shadowed yard
Pace by careful pace to find that chained victim, voiceless, all alone
Conquered by the ruthless forces of human savagery,
I bend down after carefully adjusting this wretched cape’s straps,
Untethering the Jones’s dog, carrying him to safety

Here on hallowed ground, rescuer and rescuee would celebrate this
For at least a moment, long enough to realise the futility which
Sun’s fresh rays and daybreak might expose as surely as the
Inevitable barks, growls and sudden influx of pet-related
Accoutrements needed to sustain this sudden jubilation

Casting wide the net at once summons forth a veritable bevy of
Potential advocates and assistants, brave warriors for humane ends,
All Tweeting or Instragramming an implicit willingness to serve as
Accomplice or accessory for any number of noble causes
Aimed at restoring or retaining the Greater Good

Now, fleeing time means choosing the most practical (read: the closest)
And after settling on an animal liberation group whose mission statements
Seem admirable, a flurry of messages lobbed back, forth with little
Pings and pops foments a disbelieving rendezvous, pre-dawn,
In the parking lot of a local takeaway

There we meet, eyes first, I knowing nothing about her ex-flame the
Moody biologist whose name she will slip in and out of conversation
Through coming months, a cudgel flapped with accidental force, yet
Her protests in the simmering final days lambasting my supposed
Obsession with costumes should, in retrospect, hardly come as a surprise

But in that single halogen-encrusted moment that lends a sweet,
Albeit vampiric, twinge to love’s emerging wings, when imagination and
You are sealed within one new-born stanza, all we can hear
Are the soft sounds of night music, or what is actually Felix’s
Relentless growling as his claws and drool reduce my car’s upholstery to mush.

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