Pig (1966)

My household has a pig
Although otherwise well provided
With father and mother, a dog, two cats, and three children
(The parrot died years ago),
He is called “Pig” simply and fits his name well
Being made of pigskin, but his shape improvised not stuffed:
He would be too horrible stuffed.
His ears are like a sow’s ears, large pointed and pendulous, or
Like the melted blades of Swahili spears.
He stands patiently under the piano
Attentive to receive some expected command
And ready to obey with cheerful alarcrity like any Able Seaman.
His eyes are square buttons, neatly folded also in pigskin, not
            very securely attached, but perceptive I am sure.
I think he is not a sow, because he has never farrowed
And because he is gentle with small people and not possessive
of the cats.
I brought him under my arm from London by air
In gay defiance of all airline and government regulations
(Not strictly accurate, but that’s how I like to think it was);
I think he enjoyed the flight as much as I did, even though he was
            leaving his own country.
He was designed to be used as a footstool or to be sat on, as is
            therefore worthy of respect.
From behind he looks as confident as an alderman certain of his
From long acquaintance now, of his patient and eager aspect as he stands
            on guard under the piano
Or occasionally ventures into the open at Christmas time or driven
            there for sweeping and cleaning,
I declare that he is a noble pig, an ornament to any household, worthy
            of affectionate esteem.