This is one of a series of poems, written by my Grandmother, that represent a portrait of her childhood in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, places and people she loved who are, for the most part, no longer with us. She dedicates each and every poem to her daughters, and has kindly given me permission to share them with you all, enjoy…
No knight in shining armour, but arrayed
In black, immaculate, like a Black Prince;
Easy in the saddle, whip raised aloft
Acknowledging the courtesy
Of slowing to avoid distress to skittish horse,
Seamlessly fitted to him, like a Frink,
But lighter, more attractive, though both grown
From the same countryside.
Age and knowledge could not subdue
The involuntary flutter.
The call to hounds, fleet-footed race across
The open landscape, blood in the afternoon,
A stain, spreading through soft bright coat,
A severed brush – no trace of these.
Only the paradox of lust and blood,
Primeval stirrings, enhanced as ever,
Confronted by the imminence of death.
© Dorothy Davis-Sellick 1998 onwards