Long in the making, brief in the execution
We had called a helicopter.
I don’t know why.
Was this an answer or a call for help?
Was someone ill, or needed rescue?
There were sloping rockeries
and small green plots where it might land
though this seemed doubtful.
You know how it is when a helicopter’s near,
that throb of rotors
like somebody violently turning
volume up and down,
but it’s out of your sightline.
Then I half-saw it, landed unfeasibly
on a little handkerchief of grass
and things began to calm.
I ran round to take a look.
There was the horse:
the helicopter had been carrying a horse
suspended below it.
It was free but in a bad way now,
could not stand up,
you know how it is with a foal
but this was not one of those,
it was old, grey and scarred
where it was not meant to be.
Everything about it spoke of fear and shock.
The pilot was distressed.
I said should I call for a vet,
and I did, but in minutes
it had passed away, you know
how it is from the eyes.
We have a legendary love
for animals, it was a deathbed scene
and a mystery.
Steve Griffiths’ seventh collection of poems is Late Love Poems (Cinnamon Press, 2016). In 2015, he was awarded an Arts Council England grant to create thirty films of performances from the book in a variety of settings and styles: see ‘Late Love Poems – the films’ on stevegriffithspoet.com