My Dawn Prize

walking in the gloom

just before dawn

with a cigarette and a cough

 

down by the étang

new nocturnal signs

pressed fresh

into the long, wet grass

 

silently I scan the water

with my hawk eyes

 

the lily pads shimmer

something there?

 

excitement grows

another unwelcome cough

and a duck flies startled

 

then suddenly

breaking away

a pair of otters!

 

one heads directly

towards me

only metres away now

 

he sees me

and most nonchalantly

swims away

 

from the other bank

she watches me

I watch her

 

time and the universe suspended

 

I don’t want to scare

so, I turn

back to the house

I claim

my dawn prize…