Darkness slips, tight to the ground.
On velvet-soft paws
is absorbed into the shadows
of an ebony hedge
and is loosed
into the dark air.
In rough-winged flight
a crow rises.
murky clouds cluster
in a brutish sky
flitting before me
and beyond me.
Sometimes the darkness stays.
Walking Home from School
We walked the last mile home each day;
Three small girls, satchelled – often scratched –
From tumbling playground games and farmyard fun.
In spring, the hedges burst with flowers –
Bluebells rippled past us down the steepest banks,
While we drew sweetness from the primrose hearts
And stitchwort laced our way.
I walk the road now on some quiet afternoons
And visit trees – now aged and tall –
That we once jumped from, played around.
And sometimes, if the day is true,
I press my face against the weathered, gnarled bark,
And hear childish voices, still.