Photo by John Williams (2009)




























When I was two
my father gave me
a stuffed camel
from Arabia.

It was grey and hard
and made of leather.
Not cuddly at all.

It followed me everywhere
like a dog.
I fed it milk and rusks
that dripped from its snout
onto the kitchen floor,
then dried and congealed
round the corners of its mouth.

I made it a space
in my bed
between the pillow and the wall
where it slept soundly.

I kicked it round rooms,
stabbed it with a table fork,
tugged at its seams
until the stitching came apart.

Then one day
it was gone.

Years later
I discovered
that the camel
was really
a transitional object.