Knit in chain mail brown wool, saved from some workman’s jumper,
Oolie was a felted bird with plastic Pre-War eyes
A joyless thing which never mattered much and therefore stays
Rooted in the memory like some symbol which has gone unread
He smelled stale and sweaty like a three-week unmade bed.
They had no yellow left and made a beak of green, his ear tufts
Rudimentary dog-eared stitching, he was rough and itchy
To the kiss, what child could be comforted by such rectangular
Brutality, or nestle in his permanent frozen glassy stare?
Who made him, gifted him, loved him,? I only know the last.
A hair shirt of a toy .Yet he too was loved
Despite his faults; dropped stitches and unloveliness –
And I forgive the boy.
Veronica Aldous 2016 All rights reserved