Vixen No Longer There

A silhouette in the dawn-grey silence
a ghost of the bramble and bracken
that has stopped to enquire of me
my unwanted presence there

in the half-glimpsed moment
before full-dawn, in the improper
light of shadow and deeper shadow
she clarifies my tense stillness

magnifies each twitch and nerve-end
has focused me whole and is
dismayed to fix my image there –
an unhappy blight on the morning.

In a long half-second we are locked
in each other's gaze, a mutual
magnet of concentration that tightens
and will not release –

then it is over. The bond
that was no bond is broken.
The captive that had no cage
is free. Early light broadens

its hold over the revealed woodland,
the bracken's bronze-gold intricacy,
and the hinted passing of the vixen
no longer there.

Umbrella Head​