"I've had various things
I had to work out."
She gave a snort
Which was nearly a laugh. "You mean those women..."
She raised her eyes to the Eastern sky.
"The sun is rising. Best get your drink."
I gestured helplessly at the pool,
"Perhaps you could tell me...
"O that," she said,
"You shouldn't take things like that to heart.
It wasn't the devil you thought it was
But an amiable satyr. It likes a tune
And the simple life, but the thing it's best at
Is tipping up girls.
"It scared me witless."
"So what did you think you were going to see,
Some sort of priest or philosopher king,
Crowned with a wreath of appropriate green stuff?"
"Well yes, of course you did."
I shrugged and turned my back on her,
Took a deep breath and looked again
And faced myself in the addled mirror.
The icy water tasted of stone.
"Well, if you'll trust yourself to me,
I'm going to take you down to the city;
They'll give us a proper breakfast there."
With a whisk of her skirt she turned away
And it seemed to me I was bound to follow.
She led me out of the clearing down
A pathway between conifers
Onto the seaward side of a hill
And into sunlight. Close at hand
A blackbird called, then further, deeper,
All through the unenchanted woods,
Others sang back and‑ somewhere distant‑ A chainsaw coughed and began to worry.