December 29, 2015


did not come thief in the night.
In broadest day he crossed the yard,
paused, seeing me seeing him,
then trotted, as I thought, away.
In passing he picked up a fat black hen
and took her with him.
If he’d lurked,
if he’d slunk off into the meadow
he’d be vermin, pest
lesser enemy
but that stare hit like an axe;
that cold appraisal –
no gun, no dog at heel –
no threat..
This was his kill.
In after-shock I saw
his skills, his necessary acts
as prototype
the pinnacle of all his art
matched and surpassed
by complex revenues of human war
his daggered vision
bent to the weapon-maker’s trade
his single purpose
trodden by marching feet
and all his faculties
shrunk to a limping shadow
caught in the glare of intellect,
the mass attack
the confidence that stops you in your tracks.

Pamela Brough