Pets talk to their people
in pantomime with sound effects.
Not the lower order captives-
snakes and rabbits and falcons.
They view us as feeding stations.
But the dogs and monkeys, and horses
cats and pigs and maybe bears
all are able to tell us off.
Not in words, for to them
words are just carriers of emotion.
But they know the gooey sounds
of human to animal affection,
the threatened punishment
in loud and harsh staccatos,
and the body language which
means they’re being lied to
And they talk back to us
in silent movie pantomime
of raised hackles and arched backs
paired with yowls, howls and purrs
and occasional bites and scratches.
We learn slowly, but eventually
we can know their mood
in a single glance.