Runcible Spoon

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             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.