with no urgency for common language
they maintained a parallel affinity,
instinct knew the truth of this intruder
yet still they fled back and forth,
worked hard to keep pace with hunger
and rapid begging calls.
The chick they nurtured was dove grey,
stripe vested, the mother a drab busy
bird overwhelmed by the unease
of our differences. Voracious was a word
used in her every chirp and command,
she fed me the cold worm of suspicion
but this fledgling malcontent
always knew the call of warmer horizons.
vow on the blessing of the nearest wall where
the torn join of the pattern is familiar.
Ease off wellingtons while the bare arms
of trees shed winter blossom. Carelessly casting
off their lean coldness in sheets of flickering snow,
they cannot wait to let it go, watch it dissipate
across blank fields where small birds
hop their criss-cross codes, soon erased
by softly shifting loads. Hinges sing and sigh,
demented wind chimes clatter, as we fling
off corkscrewed hats, regard ourselves
in glass that’s spiked and frozen, return
at last to a room full of scent, the almost spent
bloom of hyacinth, where we share a bounty
of late Christmas fare.
Tina Cole lives in rural Herefordshire. She writes mostly about relationships and how people manage their inner worlds. Her poems have been published in magazines such as Mslexia, Aesthetica and Decanto, with one in The Guardian newspaper. As a member of Border Poets – borderpoets.org.uk – she has been involved in many local readings and workshops – and is the organiser of the Children’s Poetry Competition poetryintenbury.org