Kathy Miles

The Faun Remembers
after ‘Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune’

Longing again for his wanton days
in the hours’ still drowse shadows
slide across his eyelids
and the shape of a nymph
quickens the slack of his heart

hand over hand it plays out
the chase-and-catch (her, always just out of reach)
and in the trees a flute of wind
its gracenote a hushed ripple
above the stream’s cascade

and he drowns over and over in her arms
thinking of how it was when the us of them
had hardly begun her flesh unfolding
in the heat her dress a rustle
as she ghosts into his dreamtime


as he leaves himself sleeping
there beside the tall oak remembers
games of tag and hopscotch
in a bombed-out street her scarf catching
on a metal sprig their lost childhood

and the veil of his now-eyes
seeing her drift his fingers
stretch to her breath slowing
a falling cadence of light

Her work has also appeared in many anthologies and magazines, and she won the short poem category in the Second Light 2013 poetry competition, and the Welsh Poetry Competition in 2014. She also was the winner of the Bridport prize in 2015. Her third poetry collection, Gardening With Deer, was published by Cinnamon Press in June 2016.