THE HUMAN BOY
howls behind bars at night, in germfree dark.
This is called ‘learning to self-soothe’.
His comforter’s a polyester dinosaur, then later
the promised chicken-dippers and computer.
At nursery he ‘experiences the texture’
of cold spaghetti; a tray full of sand.
His milk contains fructo-oligosaccharides.
He encircles himself with tiny lorries.
For him, the fox wears a bowtie.
The pigs go to school and wash their hands.
CLARE POLLARD’s fourth poetry collection, Changeling, is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her play The Weather premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, and her documentary for radio, ‘My Male Muse’, was a Radio 4 pick of the year. Her latest book is a version of Ovid’s Heroines. Clare lives in South London with her husband and son.