8 August – The night watch

I always imagined our view
unlooked at when we sleep.
When we’re not on the terrace
and the doors are all locked,
while the creeping dark
slowly covers the garden
in moonlight quiet
and makes everything
still.
Paused.
Waiting to be reawakened
by opening curtains and doors
and human activity restored.

But I was wrong.

Our view is looked at when we sleep
by those that scuttle and creep and keep
the night watch.

One such creature is covered in spines
and has been spied now as he climbs,
hauling himself slowly up the steps
with splayed flat feet and tiny short legs
to snuffle for grubs and evening snacks,
to enjoy gazing out before turning on his tracks.
Now he descends again,
a slinky on the stairs,
trotting back happily to his own bed,
cosied in under the potting shed.

No, our view is not unlooked at when we sleep,
no doubt many more have managed to keep
their secret, shadowed prowling unseen
while we look away, lost in our dreams –
missing seeing, not just the view,
but the night watch team and all they do.