and in the shop…
Last light on the last day
of the year, the low realms of sky
an unlikely sequence of horizontal stripes –
indigo, turquoise, magenta – down
to where the sinking sun spreads
red ink across the furthest reed-pool.
Midnight will be difficult. Five of us,
not six, this year. What to say.
Still unthinkable that he could leave.
Within the hide’s ritual hush,
lenses point and move in unison,
slaves to the marsh-harrier’s every breath-
held glide, dip, rise, loop and dive.
I watch you, friend of forty years,
lost in the bird, your features slackened,
unguarded. On the marsh, the hawk flickers
to ground, and if he rises one more time
it will be too dark for us to see.