(A well-known animal in both the city and the bush, the brush-tailed possum makes its presence felt, wherever it lives!)

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The beauty of this creature
Is his one redeeming feature,
For he’s not my favourite animal today.
He is really very pretty,
So I feel it’s quite a pity
He behaves in such an antisocial way. 


He’s asleep throughout the daylight,
But once the greying twilight
Has dulled the evening sunset, he’s awake.
And to our house he wanders,
Then pauses as he ponders
On what infernal mischief he can make!
In the garden he disposes
Of geraniums and roses,
And both pansies and petunias he enjoys;
And these destructive habits
He shares with wretched rabbits;
All the plants that we delight in, he destroys!
Then, afterwards, he rambles
To the courtyard, where he scrambles
Up a pillar to the balcony above.
While his territory he’s marking
He sets our dog a-barking,
And so shattering the evening peace we love!
And our irritation’s greater
When he strolls a little later,
In a manner self-controlled and quite aloof;
From the balcony’s wooden flooring
That he’s finished now exploring,
To the corrugated iron on the roof!
And no thought he has of creeping
Just in case we both are sleeping
In the bedroom just below him – what a joke!
With his life he’s taking chances
When, in hob-nailed boots, he dances
On the roof, with no regard for gentlefolk!
And I find my anger rising,
Which is really not surprising,
For another possum’s joined him overhead!
And the noise they make is frightful,
So no hope of sleep delightful,
I grab my torch and stagger from my bed.
I bang a stick upon the spouting
And the possums cease their shouting;
And I shine the torch upon each furry face.
And they, with wise discretion,
Conclude their dancing session,
And retreat to find themselves a safer place.
It’s a never-ending battle,
For we often hear the rattle
Of possums scrambling on the roof at night.
Though we’re fond of native creatures,
You’ll find no possum features
As a favourite – yet they are a pretty sight!

©2003 Philip R Rush (Reproduced with permission of the author)
You can read more of his delightful poetry here.