Aabye's Baby
THE HUNTSMAN
I still see them running, slipping,
on the loose stones of Caban Coch,
above Coedmynach, down to Glanelan.
for the waiting horses, and away.

One day in the yard
the huntsman lounged by the wall,
the hounds all over him.
He was fondling them, and looking at her.
'I wish to God they were mine', he said,
and she, 'They could be'

When she was a child, a scrawny sandy thing,
I was steward to her father.
She would beg a ride on my saddle;
I held her safe. After her father died
it was me she would ride with, if anyone.
Many a time I had only half an eye
for tenants' fences, or the stock on Gelynen,
when she seemed over-long away, alone
on Cwmdauddwr hills.

His rough hand slides gentle
down the hound's back; the young girl
smiles at him.
                      The child
is lifted to the saddle, turns in my arms,
smiling up at me.
                     Away they go,
scrambling hand in hand along the Caban,
her sandy hair blown across her face.

'Take me with you!' calls the child,
and I lift her, hold her.

They are off along the hill, going away.
She almost forgets to wave.

The child swings down from my arms,
waves as she runs away.

RUTH BIDGOOD
Ruth Bidgood Ruth Bidgood lives in Mid-Wales. She has published seven collections of poetry. Her second book, "Not without Homage", won a Welsh Arts Council Award, and her sixth, "Selected Poems", and seventh, "The Fluent Moment", were runners-up to the Welsh Arts Council Book of the Year in 1993 and 1997. The Aabye's Baby Archive
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Photograph
Bernard Mitchell, 1997.
Poem
Ruth Bidgood, 1999
Web design by Gerald England
This page last updated: 12th November 2006.