Silhouetted by a grey sunrise,
a shallow ‘V’ emerged from the fenland mist;
gliding low along the reeds of Hurn dyke,
mere metres from the ground.
A cold wind tugged from the east
and its form faulted, just once;
flattening, then twisting, before
disappearing behind a saltern rise.
My eyes traced along corrugated earth,
the undulating curves of the saltern
a reminder of an iron age;
of salt-making and industry; of history, and settlements.
Now just another ploughed field,
the ancient mound receded
and the ‘V’ reappeared;
a steady movement over a blurred horizon.
Perhaps for the last time
I crouched beneath the old horse-chestnut trees;
nettle stalks and grasses limp at my knees.
It was larger now; fingers wide and upturned,
black tips emerging from
broad bands of brown and white.
He called out to me,
tail fanned and wide, twisting skyward; his
ghostly scream a
warning in the air.
Flickering above bare branches he
turned towards the east; his
black outline once more a
silhouette in the sky.
I wondered whether
he would return in the summer
when the horse-chestnuts were gone and
the houses had been built.
He drifted away, form and colour
fading back to grey.
A shallow ‘V’, low and gliding over the fields, the
marsh harrier then merged into the fenland mist.