The firm Henderson works for has a new office:
open-plan chrome, riverside views towards the city.
But not one person in the office knows
that Henderson keeps a panther in his spare room at home.
At weekends he spends time in the garden
walking and grooming the animal;
he brushes Sable’s coarse black coat
until it shines like tar.
In cold or wet weather Henderson
puts her on a treadmill
and she walks for miles.
What Henderson does not know
is that newly appointed Amy Bridges (Accounts)
who sits at the next desk of the open-plan office,
spends her spare time guerrilla gardening.
Tonight she’s digging in some daffodils
along the central reservation
of the road that takes her home.
Neil Elder lives and works in N.W. London and has had work published in various places such as The Rialto, The Interpreter’s House, Prole and Acumen. His Saboteur-shortlisted pamphlet, ‘Codes of Conduct’, is available from Cinnamon Press.