I met a centaur down the
sunken garden path,
pausing where he’d become
somehow separated from his myth.
Often I have seen creatures wander
through these high weeds and twisted
old trees, lost deep in losing themselves,
but never one as strange as him.
The centaur stood alert and
unassailable and as I
looked, I saw his body
was covered in horrific wounds:
gaping sores across his flanks,
flayed strips of flesh on his hinds,
cracked and bleeding lesions on his hooves,
deep open wounds at his
throat almost to the artery.
I stood in thrall with the injured
beast, too far down the
sunken path to turn and run:
I raised a hand to calm him.
But the centaur, still straining
on his great trembling legs,
recoiled from my touch,
backed away into the twisting undergrowth
and left only his scent
and only his wounds.
Copyright Ricky Barrow 2013