Snapped shut on the poacher's leg
the iron cage in its hide of bracken bites
with a dark declaration of blood
through a tangle of fustian,
matted hair jerked back with a brief cry,
a dead rabbit thrown clear by the shock.
He was spotted under an early sky
first by the beagle then the farmer.
Taken all but dead
back to the tack room on the estate
to survive with a limp.
In the pub a fire roars,
pints are pulled
and in the inglenook
there is the man trap in a coat of black
grinning with its shark jaw
forced into open retirement.
"It's part of the furniture now"
says the licensee to second homers,
embellishing its bloody history.