Jackdaws

All morning the sky hasn’t budged despite my search for signs of change

the trees are silent, smudged dove grey

it looks like rain but nothing comes.

 

It seems I’m the only one alive again, until the jackdaws drop into focus

landing in the spruce, unsettling a cone which might fall forever.

Twelve the last time I counted-

 

this year’s brood cradled in the chimney, chackling me awake on lighter mornings

but I didn’t mind, it was reassuring to hear life and death outside.

All the half- feathered songbird chicks, born for this.

 

Now they eye me from thin needled twigs, a slick flick of wing, a sideways wink.

Don’t feed the jackdaws, my husband said, but he’s not here

and my pockets are ripe with fruit and seeds.

 

Yellow

I hoped yellow things might save me

bought tulips and freesias, tied a ribbon to my

bed frame. I plucked the hearts from daisies and tucked them

in my pillow slip, drew the curtains wide and waited for full moons

and sunshine. I lost contact with my knees first, and then my

hips. Didn’t know a body could fall silent. The doctor prescribed

dandelions – fields full, ticking with thrips and hover flies

and when I found one I stayed for days, but more parts of me

fell away –knuckles, wrists. Memories began to fade. Perhaps

it was too late. The X-rays suggested I was whole, but

disconnecting, and I knew I should’ve welcomed yellow back

before, because it was my first love, and I left it,

and it transpires that yellow is vital.

Squirrels

Squirrels get up early when the grass is damp with dew,

they skip around on tiptoes so their paws don’t get soaked through.

They’re busy seeking conkers stashed safely since September

but squirrels seem quite scatty, and usually can’t remember…

where they carried conkers to on golden autumn days –

did they slip them under stones, or drag them to their dreys?

And so when spring has sprung, when the weather’s wet and warm,

they’ll be skipping round horse chestnut trees sprouting in my lawn.