THE FROGMORE POETRY PRIZE 2016

David Hale

SCENT

I’m driving home
on a dirty morning
in late December,

wind and drizzle,
the dark canvas
of a download road,

when from over the brow,
a line of men appear,
dogs in tow.

Even at a distance,
there’s something
about their gait,

closer still,
about the coiled energy
of the dogs’ backs,

grizzled lurchers
decoding the scent
of ditch and bank.

They scatter at the last
possible moment,
but it’s not till I pass

the slew of vans
across the verge
that it comes to me –

out for a sport,
it’s hares they’re after,
but anything will do.



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