The Drone

The point of the hike was to forget the wave
of restructures. Cuts were in favour all season,
each team member prepared for transformation
against a profile, a personal specification.

Beyond the M40 underpass, we trod the gaps,
those places the towns had not made their own,
so we could talk through what matters
like wanting to be outside of ourselves for the day.

We thought we knew what the landscape allowed for,
assured by the discretion of its valley ear,
in the untrammelled grass of a mid-winter.
The thickets were not given over, we assumed.

Only when we had achieved our aim
and our legs ached from switchbacks
did we see a shape. It came over a field, a dot
and then, there, only fifty yards away, its red eye
suddenly honed to us, its fervent electric buzz rising.

Why it had flown above this public path was not clear.
There was a stand-off. We stood our ground,
still it staked out the air-space necessary to capture us.
All the while, its controller zoomed in
so that we could be measured-up and assessed,
our images taken in the diminishing light.