In a disused game-keeper’s hut
A stream dashes past in a deep cleft. From inside,
all she hears is waterfall. Dark as the garden
at night, a mesh covers the grimy window.
No-one will guess. She sweeps the dust, runs outside
to gasp. It settles back like things she’s heard said.
She pokes feathers she’s found into cracks between planks.
Outside, a jay cackles. The woods are as green
and gold as pheasants. There’s nowhere else.
For company she borrows a glass bowl, fills it with water,
puts in stones and water weed, scoops up frogspawn
from a pool – the jelly clings to her fingers,
the pulsing specks eye her. Placing this beside
the light she shuts the door behind her, leaving it
exactly as it was. She can’t answer what she can’t hear.
All that summer the dust leaks must.
In winter she shoves the door open to find a bowl
of dried tadpoles – when they slide around
they clink, like small beads.
Rebecca won her first writing competition at the age of ten with an essay on rabbits for the Wharfedale Naturalists’ Society. Early precocity was swamped by children, work, the fever of everyday life and she forgot what she had originally wanted to be: 45 years were to pass before she won the Cinnamon Press Novel Writing Award with her first novel, which was published in 2011. Her first poetry collection, River is the Plural of Rain, was published by Oversteps Books in 2009. Her second, A Handful of Water is published by Cinnamon Press. She has worked as a creative writing tutor in a prison and currently works as a freelance creative writing tutor and writer. Rebecca blogs at http://rebeccagethin.wordpress.com/