This is how I want to remember you –
running close to the new-turned soil
of the high field, a silhouette
against the early morning light,
your vapour trail lingering
momentarily above the frosty earth,

your whole existence focused in that nose
attached by invisible
elastic to a scent wrenching
this way and that across the field
pursuing an ever elusive prey.

Or again, in early summer corn
when all I see of your progress
is the wave of a torpedo
rippling thru the nether world
until, suddenly a heraldic beast,
up you prance to check my whereabouts,

faithful servant ever studying
to anticipate my wishes.
This is how I want to recall you –
bursting with exhaustion and delight,
not as you will be in 10 years’ time,
apologetic at your decaying life-force.

Written walking in a field at Swallowcliffe 3/10/98
revised walking near Chicksgrove 7/7/99

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