THE FROGMORE POETRY PRIZE 2014

Neil Elder

OPEN PLAN

The firm Henderson works for has a new office:
open-plan chrome, riverside views towards the city.
But not one person in the office knows
that Henderson keeps a panther in his spare room at home.

At weekends he spends time in the garden
walking and grooming the animal;
he brushes Sable's coarse black coat
until it shines like tar.

In cold or wet weather Henderson
puts his animal on a treadmill
and she walks for miles.

What Henderson does not know
is that newly appointed Amy Bridges (Accounts),
who sits at the next desk of the open-plan office,
spends her spare time guerrilla gardening.
Tonight she's digging in some daffodils
along the central reservation
of the road that takes her home.



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