Eleanor our daughter died 21/04/2020
It is one of those autumn days where the dull light
Lets everything stand out as it is;
From the late forget-me-nots across the red ploughed
Field to the farmhouse, the eye misses
Nothing and enjoys the lot. I say hello and again hello
To Romanian fruit-pickers passing
Then hear a bird call whee-oo, and again whee-oo;
From elder scrub or long grass it sings
As if hoping for reply, but there is none. I’ve been
Listening so intently, I step in a puddle
Off -balance squelching the brown water over
My legs and I guess the mud will
Not easily be deleted from my socks.
Whee-oo it calls from a new location,
Nearer me, and I wait companionably
With my invisible musician
For a responding phrase, but no, only the yelp
Of the buzzard circling the acres
Provokes an alarm from sparrows then silence.
I tell my bird to hide from the breaker
Of necks, as I turn past the brick battlement
Of a mighty barn. Whee-oo it sings, I reckon
Close by, and whee-oo (oh yes) another voice resounds.
But how will it tell an answer from an echo?