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.