I don’t know where the fox was going
when it started to trot beside my bike,
but we shared a secret through the glance

of an eye. In driveways, cars slept.
Fields sucked and breathed,
and the night sky opened over the world …

my humming wheels and the tip-tap of its step.
There’s a tramp by the bend who
tries to thumb down lifts and shouts

like hell when the cars ignore him.
You can hear the echoes widen around you
then pelt back to the bed in your ear.

Each night he sneaks into the dark eaves
of the viaduct and sleeps like a bird,
tucked up in the nest of his anger.

I wonder if he saw us,
me and the fox, like two ghosts on the road,
as he stood watching the cars go past.

I saw him, anyway. He is standing there
still in the silence of my head, watching the cars
go past, and all the light and sound speed after them.


This poem was awarded third place in The London Magazine’s Young Poets Competition 

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