Feathers In The Fennel

I shouldn’t have encouraged you,
Leaving food outside the greenhouse door;
You were pursuing pigeons and a rodent,
But weak minds wander, then the heart.
Rescued from our own devices,
Twice we crossed our crossless paths.

That first time you unveiled yourself
On the lawn, it was a blustery summer’s day;
You wore a collar in midnight blue,
Reflective sparks, light disarrayed;
Distinctive sounds, and in our own ways
We were equally undernourished and astray.

You were hiding in the rhubarb,
A distant dog barked from its kennel,
I knew that you and a jackdaw sparred,
Found her feathers in the fennel.
The rosebush is resurgent,
Two nesting boxes are empty and dark.

I remember when you bit me,
The rings in my skin, the shock of the dart;
Blood coagulates within twelve minutes,
Drove to the surgery in a bird-stained car,
Explained to disbelieving reception staff
That it was just an act of love.

For at night you breeched my dream-larder,
Robed as the Goddess, wearing black furs;
Ailuranthropic, you bit me harder,
The gibbous werecat’s succubine touch.
There was a Worming Moon unfolding,
By dawn six rabbits were dead in the hutch.

A thousand years or so ago,
Restorationists working fallow fields
Scraped amulets and hollow dolls;
Whittled once to ward off omens,
In a Suffolk hundred’s Sun they kneeled,
The cats carved in my ribs were Roman.

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