Red
By Julie Dickinson
An Animal Rights Poem from All-Creatures.org

Red
By Julie Dickinson

You remember
Childhood moments
Inked and grainy

You hear the bugle
Hooves and hot breaths
Power, muscle, sinew and bone
Honed anticipation

Your mother
Cotton shirt, damp, defiant against
The red coats
Symbolic of a violent history
Dead empire

The car turns, sunlight like an arc
Exhilarating, terrifying

Flanks of horse
Boots in view, too shiny
Dogs, so many

Bred
Into blood lust
Cubs thrown into pens

The little car
Parts the mass
Bolstered aside
Their anger rippling

We get out ahead
New pack leader
And then my mother is out
With a blanket
Running, seeing the flash of tail

You donít breathe, head drumming
She has the tatty picnic blanket
Flailing with it
Like a soldierís surrender

She stumbles
Hidden from view
Emerges
Running like fury
Bulging bundle, placed in the back

Hands fisted tight
Nails digging into palms
She jumps in, turns the ignition
It screams, missed gear
Crunch

You donít turn around
You look ahead
The failing light

Gathering miles
Justified distance
Vanishing sunlight engulfs the car

Between silent trees
Your sister asks, ĎIs it alright?í
And your mother nods
Her face glistening
A small smile

red fox
(c) Julie Dickinson 2018


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