An Old Poem

Collecting poems together for a new collection when I found this one. I like it a lot. It was written on the 1st of January 2015.

The First Run of the Year

There is a neat, tight nest of moss and small twigs,
jumbled up in a cluttered bramble thicket.

It wasn’t there yesterday. I wonder which tree
it was lifted from, if anyone saw its fleeting
journey through the air.

I’m a mile away when I wonder if there is a bird
trapped inside. If I’ll see its skeleton next year,
when the nest has rotted away, hanging between
sharp thorns and fat, glossy blackberries.

I skip sideways onto the road to avoid skidding
into the corpse of a mouse. I slow, stop, turn back,
crouch down. There’s a slight smell of iron.

The head is flattened, and I can see tiny innards
spilling out of its stomach. The wind blows
my tears sideways.

Near home, a seagull lies still on a curb side.
Its eyes are closed. There’s no blood. I’m shocked
by its size, by the sheer bulk of its immaculate white body.
It looks like it simply died in the sky and drifted down.

In the distance, I can make out the distinct shapes
of the hills bordering Cleveland and Yorkshire.
I can see the matchless outline of Roseberry Topping,
with its serrated cliff and pitted body.

I could run there today, if I really wanted to,
run right over into Yorkshire, to the drumbeat
of my aggressively pounding heart.


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