Presentimento

Alan Dixon

Think what a terrible waste nailed by the bed
Of a spitting hag, bride long ago, once fat,
Or pinned next to a feather on her greasy hat
This flat, black, sun-dried, and, through lack of a drenching, dead
Bridleway toad would be! But O so chic
It would be sure to look hung round the neck
On a silver chain easy enough to thread
In that clean nail-hole knocked right through the head!
Just perfect for a present when you wed!

The charm should last your life, if worn with care.
Your bridegroom – he can buy the silver chain,
Or copper picture wire to take the strain
If dogs are mad enough to snap for a share.
(Let it lose a foot or a leg.) A string might fail,
But field-gate twine is stronger. Here’s a nail
In case you tire of its way of dangling where
Your baby sucks, or your man should curse, and swear
He’ll share you with no toad ... if he should dare!