What to Look for in Spring
Along the line march lambs, knees high,
curious noses lifted aloft, bodies bulging,
bundling together like a dry stone wall
stretching beneath a sagging fence while,
atop a leaning pole, a brown bird sings,
its notes white blossoms in clear sky,
mirroring more lambs that gather
to jump on the stump of a clean cut tree.
Fifty years past, I learnt the world
through the stiff boards of Ladybirds,
their foxed leaves leading to the wild,
to the dark wood and churned path
beyond the new-built town; fifty years
in which I’ve never looked up that brown bird
nor considered the movement of lambs’ knees,
until I saw this book in the charity shop window.
There’s a cutting chill with the April sun,
but there’s bread in the pocket of my buttoned-up coat
and a bottle in my bag with a folded-up map
that I can burn if it gets too cold. My boots are on,
my phone off. It’s Spring: I’m going out to look.