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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.

 

 

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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.

 

Happy Christmas.