David Barber reads
My Throat’s a Torch, the Rest of Me Rust
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My throat’s a torch, the rest of me rust From head to haunch. I hotfoot it off, Ready to rumble. That’s my ruddy pelt Bristling in streaks. Those spokes and sparks Are my ears and eyes. I steal on my toes Across the green downs. Dark will be the day If the hellhound comes harrying here Where I’ve gone to ground with my little ones. The hot breath of the brute at our door Unless I call on all my canny wiles If he bulls into our hidden burrow On his belly, baying for our bones, It would be folly to fight him there So with furious paws I’ll forge a path here’s how a mother must make haste Spirit them through a secret route In the pitch-black peat, like a thing possessed. Then I can face my foe with no fear If the punk still wants a piece of me. Bring it on: I’ll double back With fire in my belly, bolder than ever, And terrible will be the turf-battle On the hill-crest under the earth-candle When I turn this time with tooth and nail On the fiend I’ll flee no longer.