Poem for a wading bird

By Nib

Curlew, I have found you

At the river’s widening bend,

Stilted stepping fresh sheep bitten sward,

Sweet sticky golden whins and broom.

Your thrilling-trilling-fluting calls

Bounce on steepening braes,

Over alder, rowan, birch

Then dulled in early blushing heather,

Shaded under yet cold barren places.

My heart jumps to see your scrape is here,

Tandem with oystercatchers’ weep.

Hard by flourish daubs of lilac willow-herb,

Hard by running salmon, grouse and roe.

Hidden in plain sight,

Veiled in cloak of speckled bars and brown,

Eluding fox, weasel, eagle eyes,

In stillness.

In stillness,

Enthralled I watch you call your young to flight,

Downy innocence.

You are real and raw as just sawn wood.

While I am here again in autumn’s later days,

You have mastered mysteries of air and water,

Cobwebs at your field’s gate glister dewed,

Last ospreys take their chance of late-run fish.

They’ll follow you to other mud and estuary.

While I…

All I see is the fading grassy dent you made,

The easter wind now searching,

Turns to thoughts of nearing crunching frost.

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