Friday, September 20, 2013

Empty Nest

Like a small, dropped sack flattened
it lay on the drive with splayed legs,
a neck all wrong, new feathers
not quite formed sticking at irregular angles
to the path and into the air,
and we couldn't see the parents anywhere.

We'd been watching them for over a week.
They'd fly in and sit on the pear branch
that we could see from the kitchen
and cautiously wait, then dart to the nest
so artfully hidden in the strawberry trees
giving shelter along the fence line.

One day the neighbour's cat was crouched
nearby. A scampering ragamuffin, we doubted
she would be able to work out even how to climb
that far. And then the winds came. For days
we were buffeted as they roared through to the east.
We could hear a tiny chirping in counterpoint.

In the end, we couldn't tell if it was the cat,
or the wind. We picked her up and laid her
gently in some leaves. Now, ground animals
could do their work and bit by bit
what might have flown would join the earth.
The empty nest still swayed in the breeze.

20 September 2013

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