Leveret (after Carolyn Jess-Cooke)
Forty weeks I wondered what would happen.
Bought a tiny cardigan while waiting,
embroidered with some meadow hares in sunshine
and wee blue shoes that you would never wear.
With little witchy hand you grasped my finger,
your body wrapped in heirloom knitted cloth,
each breath I watched and worried in the pauses
and worried as within the sling I held you.
The dandelions spoke your name in secret,
it drifted with the seeds upon a breeze
to leverets that hid among the sweet grass
who saved a place of safety from the foxes.
While in the meadow, hares lay still and quiet,
I walked abroad among a crowd of strangers,
each eye with threat or hidden malice watching,
and as you slept, I’d slay the beasts and dragons.
I walked on broken glass, endured the lightning
and carried you one last time in the autumn,
until with curtains closed amid the silence,
I placed the hares and wee blue shoes in cotton.
Jonathan Humble is a teacher in Cumbria. His poems have appeared in a number of anthologies and other publications online and in print. A collection of his work, Fledge, will be published by Maytree Press in the summer of 2020