Susan Richardson


I’ve learnt to not spot,

to disregard logs,

to track absence.


I’ve traced his prints –

my fingertips have kissed the space

where his paws nimbled

for an instant.


I’ve scooped and microscoped spraint,

grown intimate with his prey.

By counting the rings of its scales,

I’ve aged the trout he duskly ate.


Others’ spraint I’ve left in place ­–

on rocks where waters web and knot,

in the underdark of bridges.

I’ve trained my nose to know

which is toaded with bones,

who’s aching to mate, or cubbing.


I’ve switched to snacking on carp

and crayfish,   un   zipped

amphibian     skins, garnished

the grass with tail fins and jelly.


Now oaked among roots

I  can  feel

the  river  dream  him  again.




the bankside


tarka  my  way



Welsh poet Susan Richardson‘s third collection of poetry, skindancing, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2015. She is currently poet-in-residence with both the Marine Conservation Society and the global animal welfare initiative, World Animal Day. Her fourth collection, Words the Turtle Taught Me, themed around endangered marine species, will be published in 2018.

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