The Wildcat

The Wildcat
Today I saw a wildcat. Up the brae,
you’d think, in Landseer-painted, gloaming glen
or on some moor where tweeded gentlemen 
sip from their hip-flasks at their Purdied play. 
But no such thing. This wildcat stalks the street,
its yellow eyes burning with battles won.
Dark as a sandstone entry, it has run
invisibly on heavy-padded feet 
through squares and closes, through launderettes and bars,
leaving a whiff of musk, a rusty grin
and muscles moving under city skin
marked with the long, brown stripes of ancient scars.
The beast is dead, they say. And yet, those eyes
gleam in each street-lamp, angry, wild and wise.
Alison Prince

from The Whifflet Train (Mariscat Press, 2003) 

Reproduced by permission of the author and Mariscat Press.
Alison Prince

Alison Prince is a poet, and prize-winning writer for children, who lives and works on the Isle of Arran. 

Read more about this poet