Ivy House Farm, late-summer evening,

the two of us waiting for a touch of dusk

to dust our listing roof

before the fast dispersing slick of bats

spilled from behind its eaves to charge sky

with patches of flitting dark.

Pipistrelle, after a day’s hanging;

wing stretching, soaring, circling, diving.

Me, nervous, head-hatted, reviving folklore;

childhood tales of bats sticking in hair.

You, age eleven, reassuring, reviving education,

explaining the laws of echolocation.

Suddenly they were gone,

a darkening sky sending us indoors

to draw curtains on their world

while it poured them over fields

to hunt: flit through woods, dive-dip streams,

echolocate mosquitos.

We never saw them return

as they slipped snow-silent behind eaves

or sought the attic.

One day you found one roosting

in your bedroom, brought it to show me,

placed it on my palm.

A small velvet mouse sandwiched

between two five-fingered wings,

turned a blind face upwards.

I wondered if it was echolocating,

receiving an image of my face;

wondered if it felt my fear dissolve.

Pam Moyle lives in rural Cheshire. She is a retired clinical nurse specialising in drug and alcohol dependence. A member of Chester Poets, she won their national poetry competition in 1983. Pam is the co-founder of the Re-Act Drama Group which uses poetry, music and drama to destigmatise mental health issues. She has been published by Peace and Freedom Press,Chester PoetsPoetry Press, Frank Latham's History BooksCheshire County Council, Cheshire Life and Cheshire Vista. 

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