This morning I am up at cockcrow, not unusual for me because being a nurse in my conventional life, I am used to it and find it hard to sleep on. Years and years of getting up at five thirty and cycling to the station for the train are embedded in my brain.
Often on those still dark mornings I meet the fox, a silent shape trotting confidently past my moving bicycle, so close I could touch her, We do not greet each other in human terms but nod silently in respect, both understanding the need to be out early to earn our daily crust.
All is calm
All is bright.
The childly houses
(though maybe not so calm)
are lit by christmas tree’s.
small figures and drowsy parents
silhouetted against the curtains
the family dog, let out on the lawn, is sniffing foxy smells,
growling at the undergrowth
peeing on the leafless thorny rose beds
the front door opens
light escapes and rushes down the cobbled drive way
come in Fido/Jessy/Milly
the light retreats
And millys capering form now joins the flying wrapping paper
and leaping children.
all other houses are still in darkness.
a car lights on the roundabout
(a nurse maybe)
the one who drew the short straw or was off last christmas and whose turn it is to wear a christmas hat and bring good cheer to the sick.
it could have been me.
old habits die hard
thats why I’m up this early
and catch the familiar shape of a skinny fox trotting fearlessly, silently down the empty road
tonight after the fun and games
I’ll leave the turkey carcass out