A woman met angel up on the moor.
She was dazzled.
The angel took her hand,
led her to a tor
above crowberry and cotton grass.
The angel was sure-footed, certain
of the way. Neither hill nor mire
troubled his huge golden eyes.
His aura shone
across Raybarrow Pool and Blackaton Brook.
The angel said, Come!
Glide across gorse and brambles.
Your journey will be smooth and easy.
In the woman
a seed of self-knowledge grew.
Her mouse-hair, skinny breasts,
eyes that drifted between green and grey
told her, this was not her way.
She whispered, No,
and prised her roughened hand
from the white grip of steel-slim fingers.
Yellow eyes blazed and faded
to the tawny colour of the rising ground
as the angel vanished
into someone else’s story.
The woman fought to regain her home,
stumbling on every grassy hummock
or sharp stone, struggling
round valley bogs
until she reached the first newtake.
Hedgerows, fields, chimneys smoking.
Her garden waited. Beans needed picking.
As she worked
she answered her neighbours’ questions,
More devil than angel, she said.