Intrusion by Jenny Palmer

tread through ramson and bluebells
down the slope to the brook
Rotting tree trunks provide comfort
as I sit among saplings
newly planted to shore up the bank
and slow down the flow
On summer days
our favourite pastime
to escape the heat
and our mother’s clutches
was to go paddling in the brook
to wade up to our knees
in ice-cold water
I am tempted
to cast off my shoes and socks
let the water trickle between my toes
I hear branches crack overhead
Two sika deer leap out, startled
disappear over the ridge
an emptiness lingers