Created: 1st September, 2015


I have been here once before – It was a long time ago, I don't remember when.
But as my father handed me the axe-head
Images exploded in my brain.

I felt its flint-flaked sides, I felt its weight,
I ran my thumb along its cutting edge.
A dog was barking in the woods;
It was then that I remembered.

I saw another evening, just like this.
We were high on the Downs; a sunset stained the sky.
I was warm in my wolf-skin, watching the red sun
And he handed me the axe-head that he'd made.

I weighed it in my palms, tested its keen edge – And all the time the sun was sinking, sinking,
Over the black forests to our right.
The pack set up a howling in the trees.

And all this happened with the touch of flint.
I felt the past; it hit me like a stone.


Hilda Offen - Axe-head



Sign up to unlock this teaching resource