Nocturnal Neighbour

Nocturnal Neighbour

Come on, hedgehog, spiky urchin,
sniff your way from the bush shelter,
onto the lawn, fore paw the grass,
try to jerk back a blade,
as you did yesterday.
Watched you through the window,
took me by surprise.
Now sat on my wood seat,
here in my garden,
my hope is to see you again.
With enough patience
to sit on with a torch in the dark,
I know I may not see you.
You may not pay me a visit.
And why should you?
You are a small wild animal, not a pet.
If ever you do, you will show when you want to.
From garden to garden, you like to go.
“Thrice and once the hedge pig whined.”
A witch from Macbeth I quote.
Good that Shakespeare mentioned you
in a line he wrote.
But you belong not in a tragedy,
maybe a history, that scene with the gardener
in Henry V1. Perhaps a comedy,
a mention by a lover in a greenwood.
Here in the twenty first century,
you are free of folk lore,
free of Elizabethan witchery.
Yesterday, I smiled to watch you
crawl over the water hose tangle by the shed wall,
near the drain pipe and grid,
your long, thin snout, I studied,
your almost absent chin,
your tiny, black eyes, good as blind,
for I hear you rely on smell not sight.
I can see all that you did.
Would like to see you again, that is all.
Nocturnal neighbour, quieter than twigs,
grass and leaves you sniff by in the night.


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