Marching down the river path, early morning,
feeling the last black fingers of the night retreat,
I nod at the reluctant sun rising over Wentwood Hill,
thankful to share, one more day, in his simple routine.
Crystal light seeps down the hill, flooding over hedges,
to ignite the ivory windmill. A floating beacon of hope
offering pale sails of support in the suffocating,
miasmic mist rising off the winter fields.
Sitting on the fence at Morgan’s Farm, four magpies watch.
I stride forward, breathing the new air of the new day.
Silent, no beak or feather moves, their numinous eyes
sense the shadow stalking the footprints on the wet path.
As I leave the river and climb the stile, the beech hedge
nervously shivers in last year’s coat of burnt, crisp leaves,
excited at one more unmarked day to savour, or
trembling at the shadow walking inexorably behind.
Resting at the splintered oak, the vital pulse welcome within,
I lift my face to greet the warming sun and smile.
Another day to cherish, one more day to defy
the malevolent Shadow whispering his claim at my ear.