Pheasant

Headlights flush out spaces between leaves;
by the hedge, a planet halts its orbit,
sensually dark like chocolate,
with hurricanes scribed across his breast.
Scaly legs pick through the last shell of night,
lined with crushed velvet and cracking
on the turquoise edges of the morning.
His oriental headdress, in heraldic bottle-green and scarlet,
bears an echo of his homeland, muted in the frost.

I head for a place I once called home –
follow the string back the way I came,
through tangles and knots I can feel under my ribs.
Many shades of local rock have clamped
and crushed my roots – if only I could slip into
these golden fields as softly as the pheasant,
who left Asia and landed on a Staffordshire verge,
where he waits for the sunrise to register
on his copper-plated chest.

Cherry Doyle
Poet of the Month June 2016

pheasant finIllustration by Josie Jester – website: www.josiejester.com

 

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