Pride like a peacock in
his rich blues, greens, yellows
stands tall— overshadows
his brothers. Or so he thinks.
Greed’s safe bulges with gold,
locked in chains.
The key is “lost,” even for
a starved child, a homeless man.
Lust is cloaked in goat furs—
when he’s even dressed at all.
He strips with graceful power.
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?
Envy snakes in silence, stares—
his pupils vertical slits.
He marks his prey, he slithers;
he licks his lips, he slavers.
Gluttony talks in grunts, snorts.
Cheese, chicken, fish, sausage, bread
a constant guest in his hand.
The guests do not remain long.
Wrath does not walk. He charges.
His eyes wild, mane red, he roars.
His whisper louder than a
pride of deafening lions.
Sloth drapes himself across chair,
floor, sofa, other people.
Where he is, is where he lives.
A snail. A slug. A maggot.
By Isabel Tyldesley