LOVE’S QUICKENING Today my breath comes fast and cold, I am shot with guns and a little mad. I put my thumb in a wren’s nest and a thrill of sweetness pours forth. Cawing rooks bless me with sticks and blackbirds and thrushes line me soft. Trout and roach snook in my belly and swim near my window for gnats and flies. A butterfly comes with my eyes agleam and adder and toad take up their seats. Black ant warn my teening nipples and creep to my knees in even rows. A hedgehog uncurls within my skull and a dormouse breasts the hill of my brow. A ruddy squirrel brushes my cheek and cracks my nails with his little white teeth. And now comes my lover in his red waistcoat to scatter his grain upon the land: (a fox is shouldered on the hill and the fox is looking for a hole.) O, my lover, do you not know me? Look how the honeysuckle has strung me to the earth! The doves of my heart are purring, curling, where the cries of little children are heard on the lea.