A SHALLOW ‘V’

Marsh Harrier

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.

 

 

Jeremy Barron

2 thoughts on “A SHALLOW ‘V’

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