I have walked these streets
in this town before.
I remember the stillness:
the stone houses cut
into the rock hill
falling away to a river.
Nothing has changed:
time languishes here.
The seasons come and go,
leaving no mark,
no trace in the dust -
only the people grow old.
You were unexpected,
coming as you did in daylight,
and for a moment fox and man
stopped to size up those barriers
behind each other's frightened eyes.
I found you later on a slip-road,
your cunning already stripped
and as cold as the frosted dark,
as I lay you gently on the stiffened grass.
Some way off, I could hear your cubs
whimpering softly, but the place was soon lost
beneath the noise of a man hammering
the dent out of the body of his car.
Caffrey's poems have appeared in The Rialto, Acumen, Poetry Scotland, Orbis, Staple, Smith's Knoll, The New Writer and The North.
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