Scattering the Fieldfares
They search for food, beaks strong,
curved up to a sharp barb near the tip,
I count them, fifteen, record it
in my notebook, ready the camera.
A little girl bursts from the middle distance,
loud, laughing, the birds spooked, fly away
to line far off branches, to populate
hedgerows, she has rearranged the scene.
She tears through the fenland's open expanse,
a body of urgency, conquering without invading.
Her mother comes into view, a few steps behind
but the girl is stretching her lead easily.
It forces the parent to quicken her pace,
adjust yet again the space between them.
Catching up this time she throws the girl
up into an air of giggles, nature watches.
Soon when they are both dots on the horizon,
I resume my position in the hide, to wait.
The fieldfares return, they land, probe
the disturbed earth for fresh food, worms
drawn by the noise. The birds pluck out
the wriggling pinks to impale them on larders
of thorns or branches or barbwire we’ve left,
twisted now for their purpose,
for joy is a distraction, when your winter is fed
by a murderous spring.