A Fox Crossed Barley Lane

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk
trotting from his den on the heath
towards the scattered Essex farms
to hunt for a springtime dinner of hens,
ducks, geese with newly hatched young.
He passed a farm labourer plodding along
the rutted track to a meagre dinner.
The fox would dine better than he tonight.

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk
trotting from his den on the heath
towards the prosperous Essex farms
keenly seeking a poultry dinner
from their large abundant barns.
He briskly rounded the loaded wagons
creaking along the potholed track.
His mind was on his dinner.

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk
trotting from his den on the heath
to seek his dinner at Essex farms and
backyards along the High Road
crossing Barley Lane as it followed
the new railway with its deafening trains.
It took more work to extract his dinner
but he always filled his stomach.

A fox crossed Barley Lane at dusk.
He left his den in the woodland patch
in the park round the Essex hospital,
hunting his dinner in the long back yards
of houses built up around Barley Lane.
Poultry was rare but cats and rabbits
were there to be eaten in moonlit gardens.
He rushed across through a narrow slit
in bumper to bumper urban traffic.
Now for his lip licking dinner.

A Fox Crossed Barley Lane