I don’t know what it was that woke me, just a vague feeling of movement
In the early pre-dawn darkness at the bottom of the bed.
I could just make out the curtains blowing idly round the window
And the frame of lighter darkness round the old machinery shed.
The night was dark and moonless, and my vision dim and hazy
In the weak illumination of the cold and distant stars.
And I fancied as I squinted to resolve the dim horizon
That the bright one in the corner was the reddish planet, Mars.
There it was again, … the movement: gentle pressure on my ankle.
It must be the cat, I told myself and relaxed with a sigh.
Then it moved again.. along my calf, so gently, like a lover
And it touched at last now clammy flesh along my inner thigh!
I groped to reach the light switch on the wall beside the bed-post
To ease my consternation at my uninvited guest.
But the wanted switch eluded; its position seemed secluded
As I tried to back away from mounting pressure on my chest!
The light was bright and blinding and my guest was now rewinding
His long and slender body on its new and quaking spot.
He was big and he was handsome: his black eyes peered into mine,
Every muscle in my body bunched up tightly in a knot!
If I moved, the game was over; nothing was to me more certain…
His head was slowly weaving only inches from my face.
Though I tried to will it silent lest it vex my brown intruder,
My thumping heart insisted on a unremitting race!
The house was fast asleep and would remain so for an hour,
There seemed no way to signal that I’d fallen into strife
And it seemed a time eternal that we spent in close communion,
While I gained appreciation of our transitory life.
And then my slender savage turned, and silently and swiftly
He retraced his path to grassy fields in less time than it takes…
To tell my breathless story, and he vanished in the darkness,
And returned to tend his business in his leafy glades and brakes.