I found you on a rainy morning
After a typhoon
In a bamboo grove at Daitoku-ji.
Tiny wet rag with a
Huge voice, you crawled under the fence
To my hand. Left to die.
I carried you home in my raincoat.
"Nansen, cheese!" you'd shout an answer
And come running.
But you never got big,
Bandy-legged bright little dwarf -
Sometimes not eating, often coughing
Mewing bitterly at inner twinge.
Now, thin and older, you won't eat
But milk and cheese. Sitting on a pole
In the sun. Hardy with resigned
You just weren't made right. I saved you,
And your three-year life has been full
Of mild, steady pain.
Source: No Nature: New and Selected Poems