A Brush With Death And Life
Blood in its mouth, still red-wet, over bared badger teeth. Eyes sunken, dehydrated, unconnected. For a moment the creature seems to breathe: the wind moved its fur, that was all, but Dog and I are wary still: a force of life hovers in the air: a sense of displacement.
I could touch that thick fur but a death taboo stays my hand.
Dexterous paws with dangerous claws lie quiet. Pads of feet: so common to mammals: thoughts of kinship jump.
A woodpecker knocks, somewhere in the trees: it harshly tolls.
Off the lane and into the woods we walk, climb over the incumbent giants there. On each storm-felled tree something new grows. Green pushes from the cold earth, fells me with delight. Life: life is here: we are all here: my roots reach down: down to the molten heart of the earth.
On the return journey I put my hand on the fur of the road-killed brock: thick, wiry, soft, like a good paintbrush.