A Friendship Trilogy - Poem by Bill Mitton
I hear her cry, once again, she is alone.
Once again natures clock dictates a mate.
I hear him answer, and I know this night,
will echo to the sound of their joining.
In the turning of the season she will come,
tired, and heavy with her burden of new life.
She is more grey than red, with one white leg
I know her and am sure she is aware of me.
I feel her trust, wary tho' she is and must be.
I will feed her chicken laced with cod liver oil
to help her through the growing heaviness.
We will spend the winter watching each other.
I will watch her feed from the tray I leave,
Then, through my field glasses 'til the hedge.
I know she watches me as I put the food out.
And again at the hedge she turns to look back at me.
SHE IS OLD NOW
She is old now her
It is hard to Spot
her white leg
is so advanced
she limps on
a hind leg
Yet for all this
I knew her
As soon as I
As I’m sure
She knew me
And then I got
if I had aged
as much in
GREY INTO BLACK
I started my walk with a happy step
there was mist and rain mixed
but I was warm with
a heart full of sunshine
Why should I feel downcast
beside me walked my own tall son
mirroring his mother's smile.
Off to one side the rain shimmering shape
of Heaton hill and
at her brambled feet
the dark but evergreen
of Brody's spinney.
as always at this point I thought of her
my once gold and red but now grey friend.
I wished a wish to see her
just once more by that hedge turn
but no, fate held only pain
as we turned my son and I
in anticipation of supper and laughter
through the evening mist
I caught a hint of greyness in
amongst the wet grass
My heart turned in that moment
and had she been across
John Garton's cold pool
I would have gone waste deep
to see her in that place
But there she lay amongst wet grass
the numbers of her days written
across cold grey red tinted fur.
I sat and cried and my son
unembarrassed, took off his coat
and gently wrapped her in it
she was not his friend but
his father's friend
this was for him, enough
and now she lies beneath
the hedgerow corner where
I can still see her turn
and watch back over our years
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