The Old Goat

It had been six years since I’d walked that grouse moor,
followed it around to Ladder Hill and descended down
along the footpath, the right of way that took me
through an enclosure for goats before a field
and then a tiny tunnel beneath the train line to Buxton.

Those years before I’d taken a photo of a horny goat
and the little bastard had butted me in the shins.
Here he was again, grey around the beard, yellower of eye.
As I reached for my phone to take another photo
he came at me again, chin tucked in, horns out-thrust.

That day, same as the other day, I’d walked five hours
without a map under skies where birds were sailing.

Neil Campbell is from Manchester. He has two collections of short stories, Broken Doll and Pictures From Hopper, published by Salt, and two poetry collections, Birds and Bugsworth Diary, published by The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, who have also published his short fiction chapbook, Ekphrasis. Recent stories have appeared in Unthology 6, The Stockholm Review of Literature and Best British Short Stories 2015. A collection of flash fiction, Fog Lane, is forthcoming from Gumbo Press, and his first novel, Sky Hooks, was published by Salt in 2016. His Twitter: @neilcambers.

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