‘Exposure’ by Abigail Ottley
Abigail Ottley lives in Penzance. Over the past decade, her work has appeared in more than two hundred outlets, most recently in Poetry Wivenhoe, The High Window, the Trigger Warning anthology and The Survivor Zine and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She is a contributor to Morvoren: the poetry of sea swimming published in June, 2022 and Cornwall, Secret and Hidden: a collection of short stories (2022).
(somewhere near Kendal, the mid-1960’s)
Mud-lagged and shoeless, I am cold, afraid,
three-quarters blind, half asleep.
I cannot run. You have thrown away
my glasses. Rain blinds me, too.
Your long legs carry you further, faster and
you drag me like a carcass in your wake
In your head you are both hunter and hunted,
Geronimo, heading for the hills.
A man full-grown, but I see through you. One of
us is not a proper grown-up
Here is a window, lit yellow in the gloom.
Rain-sleet slices me raw.
I think I might die here,
never go home.
Please stop now,
I sob into the wind.
Hours have passed since the blade
of your hunting knife
at my hair.