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The Witch of Walkern

Two crows led me here,

squabbling over a mud splashed stem of straw.

One flying up and high.

The other, flapping empty wings,

flew down this country lane

to merge with the dusk,

leaving me between hedgerows

smoldering with rose-hips.

A hart darting eastwards

across a shallow stream -

then I saw her,

the old woman, retracing

the wing beats of the crow,

straw in hand, muttering

as she came, she

would have justice one way

or some other.

A cunning woman, she thought herself.

Suddenly darting forward

like a feral thing

to jab my arm with a crooked pin

and capered off laughing

into the gathered night,

leaving me to walk into Walkern,

my herd of cats following

each with a judgment cake of feathers

in his raw mouth.