A layered accumulation. Kept almost dry
by the deep overhang of the hedge.
It curled like a matted wave over me.
A musty, woody odour rose up.
Leaves rustled as I settled myself.
Nesting like a bird. Hunched into the friable
residue of years of autumns past.
Light occasionally pierced the branches
that arched above me. A scatter of pale shapes
that danced and flickered.
Bare twigs clattered lightly in the breeze and I sat
still as a stone.
I held a crust of bread, stolen from the tea-table.
Pilfered on the way to homework and quiet-time.
It was a misdemeanour committed most days
and left my pockets full of crumbs
that worked their way under my nails.
After a while the squirrel approached me.
Nose twitching and its tail a question mark.
Tiny paws reached out and I watched it eat.
Each movement an economical jerk of paw and jaw.
The bread did not last long, nor the visit it had enticed.
I scrambled out as dusk began its delicate shading
and brushed my uniform free of leaves and loam.
I made my way back, hoping to sneak in unnoticed.
Though well-practiced in breaking rules
I did not want to be caught. For that would mean bed
and no supper.
Miki Byrne is the author of two poetry collections. She has had work included in over 120 poetry magazines and anthologies. She has won prizes for her poetry and has read on both Radio and TV and judged poetry competitions. She has a BA (Hons.) in 3D Design and a PGCE. Her new collection ‘Flying Through Houses’ will be available from Indigo Dreams Press in 2013. Miki is disabled and lives in Gloucestershire, England