One spring evening I came home
smelling of chalk and felt tips
and saw him: lager-pale, eyes
bright in the headlamps.

I thought of farmers, but my heart
was on his side. I would have loved,
like a woman to a cat, to talk to him.
But he retreated, a shy child

from a stranger, down the bank,
into gorse, brambles and dog roses.
I remembered Lawrence’s snake
as he’d remembered the albatross.

But my heart was lighter when I turned the key in the lock. I imagined smells of sandy soil, gorse, cold spring air, and fox.

Copyright: from Here Comes the Poetry Man (Salt, 2011), © Fred Sedgwick 2011, used by permission of the author

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