At this Samhein gateway
crow claims entrance
her throaty rasp
saws into the silence
her jagged silhouette
sails low and straight
parting my hair
in the dank morning mist
with dogged wing-beat

Staring at the small brown mark
on the back of my hand
is my death staring back at me?
Or is it hiding in the dry skin
between my toes
and loss of nerve ends?

Everywhere I look
the possibility lurks
behind the curtains
in the midst of the jolly crowd
in the next cold I catch

Will it be a sudden power cut
or a steady dwindling of supplies?

Each winter
perceptibly weaker
fear of winters to come
will I survive the descent to her cave
and emerge with the snowdrops?

The tv responds
as the drama “Six Feet Under”
reaches it’s end
“You still don’t get it!”
says the dead father
to a son bemused
gazing together
at raindrops falling
“you are ALIVE!”
(be glad while you can!)

©Rachael Clyne