Walking at Winter's Turn 
by Nicola Harrison 

 

Early larks exhilarate the ears in sprung rhythm

beaks full of song at altitude make vaporous scribble

on high sky canvas at otherwise silent noon.

 

Crows leapfrog pylons with frosted claw

and robins stitch out bare territories

in shrill, fearless stabs of sound.

 

Oak trees naked and fabulous

stretch bones to the kindling sun.

Brambles loop over barbed wire fence

arcades of shrivelled leaf and old thorn.

 

Reluctant hedgerows quiver,

bud-emergent, still fearful

of winter’s lasting stand -

and shaping lambs turn in countless bellies

quiet, unknowing, waiting to be born.

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