Caught by the River

The Coot, the Cat and the Dawn: a poem by Marc Woodward

13th May 2019

The five a.m. air feels bleak as a fridge
with an open door and a broken light.

I go tripping off the tongues of grass
in flip flops and tartan pyjamas

holding before me an ill tempered coot
like a tarred and feathered sextant.

Underground the sun is still dressing,
slapping on shine as the day squeaks to life.

The short-lived songbirds are going haywire
bursting for shock at another morning.

Near the pond I release the cat’s trophy
and it scuttles off clucking through the weeds:

a big shoed barrister in gown and wig,
rushing back for a judge’s decision.

At home I strip off and climb into bed
seeking your body, the glow of your warmth.

You wriggle away and complain of the cold –
but I’m glad of the coot, the cat, and the dawn.


Taken from Marc’s recent collection Hide Songs (Green Bottle Press 2018). Purchase a copy here.