Barbara Derbyshire is an author of short fiction and poetry. Originally from London and now an Irish citizen, her home is in Kerry where, with more time to think, observe and remember, she has rediscovered her love of writing. She published her first book, Tapestry of Love, Life and Spirit in 2016. Her second collection of poetry and short stories, Leaving Echoes, was published in 2019. She is currently working on a new book of poetry.
Who is this approaching my garden today?
A beast, so fierce, his eyes on fire and his horns blazing?
I am wary of him, of his bulk and strength.
But he marches towards me, not seeing my fear.
Needing to talk, to rest here with my green grass, flowers and friends
“I am the last one” he states
“Never again will my brothers and sisters
Shed their blood for the human race.”
“You are telling me it’s over, the suffering and fear?”
“Over, though I still have the shakes and the anger.”
“Eat some clean and fresh grass, dearest Bull.”
“Bull – I was Toro. Taunted and speared
As the people laughed
The human in the golden suit, eyes dark, burning
As mine are now. Not from fear or anger, though
From excitement and delight
at my impossible plight.”
I call him to my side and he rests his beautiful head on my shoulder.
“There will be no more of that, and you are not Toro
You are Bull. Brave. Big. Gentle Bull.”
Your mother is in the largest field, see there?
She roams and eats all day
and sleeps without fear
No truck will dare to draw near.
There is only love here”
“What is love? It has never touched me.”
“It will now, Bull. Your nature is to be scared, you have been
Abused – Used
So that the lost ones are
No more, Bull. No more.”
I bathe his fatal wounds in the fountain of healing.
Rinse his eyes and shower his perfect horns.
He walks away from me and looks out at the horizon
His red eyes, now dark brown
and full of the love he has never known.
His fiery horns are now cool.
He looks back at me as he prepares to depart.
“I’m the last one.” He says
“The bravest of them all, Bull. The best.
Rest, will you?
Meet up with your kind and welcome me to
your home from time to time
as I shall always welcome you to mine.”