Your copper hair gew slowly like coral
by Eric Ratcliffe
as rock-light awoke your body to glory
to walk one-hip-high through tropical nights
with eyes slanting wild harmony;
until, splitting the corn beneath the hot stars,
the beast in your long legs quivered
to mate unveiled with the giant heron.
Under the cusps of animal moons,
the brown face of your little fox-teacher
once turned to the white trees curled in vapour
to welcome the yellow daughter-panther
following from the slewed hilltop,
and your sleeping lips learned to lap
as you softly mouthed the low spring water.
But when the noon beaks of your bird companions
tilted through lost sunbeams,
lighting men telling of oak carts,
ripe roads, and cities tall as fear.
you sprang away so quickly,
leaving only a closing river flower
racing in a small silver circle.