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Two Hedgehogs
 
Tiny clawed feet rustle clumsily through the foliage,
Stalled, stuck, then trapped by green ramparts
Drowned in black.
The Last dregs of light drip
From the ineffectual moon,
sporadically staining the garden.
 
These two small creatures, content in their secrecy,
Until I, with my purple boots clumsily stride
Through the nightís sandwich silence
Kick the mother across the path,
To lie curled up on the cold paving stone
Beneath my idiotís panicked stare;
My hands full of washing for the garage dryer,
Stepping back
To tread on its child,
Cowering in its motherís shadow.
 
Terrified that my stupid feet,
Have killed both mother and child and
That sacred, unheralded moment they shared
has now become a crime scene,
Chalk lines tracing
The outlines of their tiny bodies.
Trying to relinquish my childish fears
I retreat into my home of brick and light
To find my girlfriend, who takes my hand
And guides me back into the garden,
To sit and wait for their bodies
To be resurrected from the blanket of frost.
 
The mother leaves, climbing over compost bags,
Under apple trees devoid of produce,
Through caverns of arched branches, brambles and stems
Of all denominations,
Exploring this hidden temple of darkness and dirt,
Calling its baby with squeaky, leaf rustling cries,
And still the baby doesnít move;
Images of crippled hedgehogs
Drip down the sides of my mind
Until after another desperate cry it finally moves with
Slow, steady determination into a blackness
Dense as human history,
To be lost to its hidden kingdom 
Trapped only by the limits of my imagination,
As fragile human hands wrap together against the cold,
Silent in our reverie.

David Hay

If you have any thoughts on this poem, David Hay would be pleased to hear them.


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