Rout

by Patrick Maddock

Days of will we, won’t we. Showers of daisy-petals.
To have judged his character so incorrectly:
to be here with a bunch of weeds – brambles, nettles.
How could she have known he’d spoil her byway
its intimate hedgerows spreading to enfold him?
His footwear soon dragged and his tongue took a sting.
Mud-pats and rotted leaves grew attached to him:
he wiped them in her bed linen, her soft furnishings.
What was she to make of him – manikin, monster?
She unscrewed his arms out of fear of his claws,
set him in the ditch to scrub the hump off his back
and tucked his bared feet coolly into his jaws.
Now militant rooks command the wires above her.
She retreats down the road and leaves them to check.