Wednesday, 6 January 2016


Bracken on one side of the bank
tall grass and reeds on the other
next to the water-washed sandstone edge
of the Birmingham canal. The towpath,
dry with summer's dust, stretches on,
distant trees occluding the horizon
and Eddie Gee's white and green farm shed
dominating the field beyond overhanging
aspen and willow. My hoarse shouts as he ran,
fur flying, an easy lope speeding faster,
my tiny legs pumping, pumping
as if a life depends on it. The last, lung-bursting cry
before the stitch and the burning muscles
slow me to a crawl, a stop.
My voice hoarse.
The last flash of a black and white tail
as our collie darts between two trees and is gone.

Two decades later, our father's funeral and you let slip
when we had Laddie put down...”
and my voice goes hoarse with the memory of that run.
“I always thought he ran away.”

© Rachel Green 6th January 2016

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