Out Walking

I met her in the beechwood.
The blood was on her paws.
In a blue gap of frostlight
She licked, then gnawed her claws.

“Why do you look so startled?”
“This is an English wood.
Your eyes are drowsy with warm seas.
Are the proud dead your food?”

“The frost is my equator.
The trenched field is my street.
In fur-lined cloak or leather
I smile on all I meet.”

“Why does that black fur melt?
Why does your white skin glow?”
“This time you will not touch -
Next time you will not know.”

Alison Brackenbury

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