Fox-coloured and fox-faced
Fancy collie crossed with tinker’s hound,
Half crazy, half wild,
Would not be caught or led
But, with gentle persuasion,
Followed me home,
Not knowing how much I needed
Her shadowy presence on night-time journeys,
Her sensitive ears and warning bark.
Little changed by time,
Her dual nature matches her ancestry.
A ginger whirlwind with a loving tongue
And the moonlight heart of a hunter.
Tonight, she won’t come in
And is not tempted by the usual bribes.
I leave her out and drive away.
As I return, well after midnight,
A ghostly shape leaps from the darkness,
Dancing and howling with joy.
Taken from ‘Inside Outside’
(1990), page 6.