He died just here
surging skywards in belts of riverspray
to land snagged
between unexpected limbs,
his final minutes gusting a leaf storm
- that whipcrack bucking and twisting -
bark rasping his skin.
Now, blind and perished,
jaws snapped wide as if for air,
Small birds venture in, inspect
the airy tomb,
its scattered gallery of light on bone,
lay their young, pulse and flutter
in a nest of grass and hair
upon his shrivel-tongue.
Next spring, we'll find its shredded silks,
seams split, birds flown, mossy contents
onto the riverbank below.
Paths into brush and rock, shocks
of berries in bitter leaves, and there
a form, still warm, and a line of wire
carved into the grain, the panicked hare
kicking away, stopping short
with a snap
and the scuff of bone on rock.
He will not blend with stone,
displays himself resolutely,
buffeted as he is, tousled
and leaf-bombed by gales
of passing traffic,
one glazed eye
in that perfectly-combed brow
oblivious to the broken
bone of him
and the spindles of his wings
opening and closing
as if some strange semaphore
could summon the gods
to resurrect him.
Jane Lovell is an award-winning poet whose work focuses on our relationship with the planet and its wildlife. Her latest collection 'This Tilting Earth' is published by Seren. Jane's work has been published in Elementum Journal and she also writes for Photographers Against Wildlife Crime. She is Writer-in-Residence at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.