Two upright horns, long and tapering
Elongate his head
The eyes, small and smouldering,
Scrutinize passersby as well as his clan
But his grin is undeniable, wicked.
Climbing trees and jumping fences
Are parts of his everyday, although
There is more to him than meets the eye.
On hind-legs and cloven hoofs he is taller than a man
His smell announces his arrival several hours before he appears.
Flies tumble down, dead in his wake:
His deep enjoyment in urine shows on his face
As yellow dye impossible to clear.
He sniffs, licks and pisses;
Never misses his mark.
Women and children do their damnest to escape;
He never hesitates but charges forthwith
Towering over his prey and butting down,
Sending all and sundry sprawling.
The goat, ancient symbol of evil,
Takes his pleasure wherever he can.
His goat-wife, black and grey, timid creature
Pays homage in kids but strains her teats to distraction
Milk fever and pains were ever the lot of
Devoted companions, sitting home while
Their lord and master strays.
From ‘Animal Kingdom’
© HMH, 2013