A tower containing your latest Rapunzel
is on the horizon
and you are running ahead.
I am in the suit of armour I adopt every day now.
It's become a second skin
so I forget it marks me out.
To me, I'm still naked like I
should be shivering
and I so keenly keep my
on you so we
can be homeward, fast.
I don't realise the clunkiness
of my gait
can be quite the spectacle
to the couples picnicking,
strawberries in hand
as red as a bloodied gum.
You are barking up
at the mane she won't throw down
and I am noting mentally
every chip in the stone brickwork between you.
My slow, encumbered walk
reaches you before you tire
and I have to stand shuffling my left foot
in its sneaker covered in tin foil
struggling to find interest
in the nails I've already bitten back.
Maybe a clink of my metal
reminds you I'm there
or maybe you were all but ready to
give up anyway.
You ask with your tongue lolling
if we can walk for home
without you wearing your leash;
your tail isn't between your legs
but there's something in your throat.
You cough and it's not your heart;
It's a hairball.