The whippet called cygnet held its ears flat
in an effort to mimic its master’s mood.
Its master was young but had more lines
on his face than a topographical map.
His eyes looked like adjacent wells
whose bottoms never saw the sun.

An airbus flew overhead, coming from
and going to places the man had never been.
In all his life he had been no closer
to an airbus than to swans in flight
heaving with effort through the sky
with their wheezing wings.

It appeared to him the streets
were crowded with mothers pushing
old fashioned, black enamel prams;
their still children looking like wax
mannequins lying in state.

The whippet was white and mute
but its snout was not orange
and the only cobs it knew
bristled with corn.