David Healey was born in 1944 and brought up in Cornwall. He qualified as a doctor at Guys and subsequently worked in Papua New Guinea before returning to become a GP in Suffolk. He’s now involved in wildlife conservation and helping to look after his grandson, Archie, with cerebral palsy; both find their way into his recent poems. His pamphlet Slowing the Afternoon Down was published by The Garlic Press in 2010. He won the Crabbe Poetry Competition in 2014.
Imagine it lying on the bank,
how disappointed you’d be
at its museum posture, its crass way of chewing fish.
Instead, you have a sighting of faster river colour,
a feeling of it being here,
ease beyond that of water, a neat disappearance.
The roughness of its coat during a scratch,
whiskers, a glassy looking eye, perhaps its snout:
none of these you actually see
but you’re left with the doubt required for belief,
the otter forever swimming
through your memory of this river crossing:
Trekelland Bridge over The Inny,
faster shallows, a deeper stillness and a glimpse
from its parapet, but enough.
Copyright © 2014 David Healey