A poem for the roadkilled.
I am back clearing litter
to learn how autumn falls
from yellow lime, browning oak
and tar-spotted sycamore,
counting shattered beech shells,
chestnuts cracked like skulls,
galls and acorns smashed flat
on merciless black roads
where heedless of a squirrel’s bark
a hedgehog uncurls and walks
beneath the tyres of a runaway world.
Costumed magpies finish the corpse
then shapeshifters bury the bones
in a graveyard in the liminal wood
where hanging trees lift creaking doors
to earthen routes of the goblin realms.
Faded fruits rot from the stalks.
Berries wither. Damsons drop.
An apple falls into my hand.
Within its core I find the song
of a garden where all fruits are born
and tiny creatures gather round
a fragrant summer ever long
and dance again forever young.
I take and revere the golden song,
a gift from my muse in the summerlands
to keep like a wish as autumn falls
on pitiless roads where the dead lie cold.
*This poem was written in response to a blog post by Sarah Hymas http://sarahhymas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/roadkill.html about road kill. I witness the tragic impact of overpopulation on local wildlife everyday out walking or on my bike ride to work. The death of small animals on the roads is seldom noticed let alone acknowledged or addressed.