What happens if a baby primate grows up
without a hug? TV – a treat…in pyjamas
and dressing gown – sipping Horlicks with two
chocolate digestive biscuits – the cord loose
at my side. They have not yet asked me the question.
The experiment: monkeys in a laboratory,
one has a ‘mother’ made of steel mesh
the second of soft wool, both offered
bottles of milk to suck, or none – separate
cages, no companions – alone.
The monkey with the wire mother
becomes anxious, tense, dies young.
Mothers die too, and the carving knife,
once raised before breakfast…
is just a memory – I tie the cord tight.