the yacht yawns into a turn,
stern tilting like an easy lover
adjusting to accommodate another.
You hear them before you see them,
their calls carrying. From up high
you scan the sky until you spy in
the distance a ball of soot that
contracts and expands. Cranes.
Skeins that fly to the south west.
Icons of autumn. Hungry for acorns.
Minutes go by and now the shifting
V is clear to see. The long legs almost
left behind and the heads pointing
the way forward.And still the trumpeting.
Perhaps it’s comforting or the way
that they discuss the finer points of
navigation, proposing or rejecting
some minor alteration.The fuss they
make! These exquisite, noisy birds,
as they trek across the sky along
the ancestral route to Extremadura.
Far off now, the conversation continues
but each parp! is now less audible and
there’s a sharp realisation of how you
will miss those voices that have filled
the emptiness of the last quarter of an
hour of your life, of how the silence
will bring an unanticipated sadness,
of how, finding no solace, you will
look north east and make earnest
petition to the horizon.