It’s so long since I posted anything here, so I am just squeezing this in before Christmas. It isn’t a Christmas poem however- it’s about a dead badger.
As I walked down this hill towards the road
Like one without a care in all the world;
I stopped and looked, then on I strode
In wonder there was nothing to be seen or heard.
As far as my ears could hear or eyes could see
There was nothing moving in all the world
No birds, no folk, no creature besides me.
I went over the stile to the metalled road.
The road was as unpeopled as the path
Until I turned the bend towards the town
And saw, blocking one entire lane, Death
In the shape of a badger, lying still as any stone.
A dead badger, and nothing else around;
Decaying in the middle of the road;
An obstruction to human traffic, food
For smaller creatures picking at its wound.
Its stale blood dirtied the tarmac where it had run.
I couldn’t see its eyes, only the belt
Of stored muscle in its lustreless black pelt;
Flies buzzing around it, catching the sun.
It was a phoney summer; I’d been expecting rain.
The corpse was there all week in the same spot.
I walked around it, cars swerved around it
Without slowing- the heap of slow ruin.
On my return, I climbed over the stile
Back up the quiet hill about a mile
To the isolated cottage. It was a quiet time
But I’d something to tell my friends about back home.