A cat rests between the rose bush
and conifer; time rearranges the
tangled shadows on his back.

A blackbird perches high
on the apple-tree, tail fanned
like a dark flame burning a hole
through a canvas sky.

A spider’s web trembles;
the blackbird shrieks a warning.
A bee hovers between the vibrancy
of flowers,

carrying the weight of sunlight
on its back. The cat moves slowly,
untangling the shadows to blue-grey
perfection. His eyes,

bright and intelligent, see his prey;
he pounces; a small bird paints a blood
abstract of its death. The sun
eats its flesh.

The bee’s wings flutter, spider’s web
trembles, and the blackbird sings
his song of tragedy, carrying the weight
of moonlight on his back.

The cat waits, time darkening his image.

©️ Rowland Hughes