Empathy

Rebecca Kylie Law

"Are you then unable to recognize unless it has the same sound as yours?” 
Andre Gide

Your large eyes closed and blanketed body
collapsed, you lie, at last, in the warmth of hay.

You cannot know this night; yet it is wintery

as a mother, beast, the sleep of fog in the deep of
Stinton’s valley, the surrounding slope of road that follows

your pasture as a pen traces the line of a geographic
strata, exacting and true to the guttered distance of
fence line and bitumen. There, high up in the rise of fog like 

a couple of child lanterns, the headlamps of traffic pilot slowly the
narrow edges of your home fixated on purpose. Human 
in their timidity, they turn corners so that, again there is the dark

wild of your breed’s whispers. How it belongs so much more
to you than to us, encapsulated in our vehicles, nestled in the

cosy nooks of our warm houses. Always, at night, so basic and 
romantic in our clamouring for shelter but escaping it too,
with our music and our books. I want, one day, to walk you

down the slope of your pasture, my left arm hanging loosely
across the back of your blonde mane, your neck, take you to the

stream at the valley’s base and sit there whilst you drink, my knees
under my chin, my arms cocooning me as though what I am cradling

is the beauty of the glistening water before my gaze and the idea
you get that - more than anyone. Climbing the slope solo, by your side.



Rebecca Kylie Law holds a PhD from UWS. She has published six collections of poetry with Picaro Press, Interactive Publications, Ginninderra Press and Wipf & Stock. Individual poems, reviews, interviews and articles have been published in numerous journals Australia and overseas. She works as a freelance writer and private English teacher.

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