So, what is a wimp, she asks.
They look back at her.
A carrot? one of them tries.
I suppose, she says, if a gorilla can be a wimp
a carrot can be a wimp.
But tell me, what is this wimpy wimpishness
in a carrot, or a gorilla who is a boy in a book?
The word spills breathy from the lips, an almost-stutter
that can’t rise above a whisper.
I can understand you not understanding
what a Knight might be, or some Baron,
but how can we not feel the meaning of wimp?
Let the sound go though you like a noise
goes through a pack of dogs in the dark.
Feel it like a flock of parrots feel panic
lift their feathers’ stalks in the night.
That wimp—go on, say it—
that wimp is apologising again.