One of my favourite things is walking. I used to walk a lot at night,
loving the darkness and the way the world changed in the fields
and hedgerows, the way the flowers stood out like small moons.
This was an encounter with a poacher. They were such silent and
still men, stiller even than the trees and when they heard anyone
coming, it was as if they turned to wood themselves, frightening you
out of your wits when you spotted them.
That night, when I was out,
Walking the frozen fields,
He was the only stranger,
Standing still as a death stone
Under the oak tree,
Switching on his head lamp
Only when I was past.
Blinding me and the rabbit,
Blinding me and the hare.
And I wondered if this was the time
Me and the pheasant,
The rabbit and the fox
Would all lie down together,
All freeze and die together
In the white and frosted furrows,
To lie there forever.
For ever and for ever.
For I had seen the Poacher,
By dint of old and wicked country magic
Of Deadly Nightshade and Henbane,
Leap into the sky above us.
His head lamp shining away
Every shadow that would save us.
Until I looked again and saw
The Poacher’s moon.
©2019 Gwen Grant