Michael Shepherd

(8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

Unicorn 2

Whenever we’re nearest to one in ourselves –
that’s when they’re most likely to be seen:
as we step out from the trees
into the gently sunlit glade, moss under hoof and foot,
it’s there. And so, because the unicorn already in our mind
is now prepared for this, it’s not a shock, or palpitating heart,
but like an old friend whom you’ve never met before.

Some, of course, have waited years
and only want to touch, to register for future tales
some special personal relationship –
they’re least likely to be given the chance;
but even those, I’m told, who live to touch,
in its so quiet presence, cease to want to touch.
And if you did, the story goes, this animal would know
your reasons – and might disappear; or yet, it might submit;
as woven hangings show it; meek in Mary’s lap.

Those who were so graced and speak of it
say little. For when the unbelievable
just happens, what is there to say
in words that were not used thus yesterday?
All that they can tell us is, that they and it,
under its sweet and gentle understanding
were so at one, that what was known, was known…

Submitted: Tuesday, July 26, 2005

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  • kskdnj sajn (2/25/2007 11:56:00 AM)

    Perhaps an extraordinary moment; wise with empathy and love. The piece succeeds in its attempt to capture such fascination. (Report) Reply

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