John Rickell

(I November 1931 / York)

Before The Bedroom Window


Pigeons two and blackbirds three
crab tree red and ripe
sweetness for all to see
before the bedroom window.
Spring miles away waits
towering cloud and western wind
A wild rose out of season
shivers in the border
came out for Chritmas,
pink and tiny, flowering
friendly defiance
shaming me in woollen hat,
January not my favourite.
Refilled feeders and fat-ball snacks
finches fighting sparrows
and yes, the robin's there
holly berries long since gone,
ivy berries too,
stolen by the blackbird
who clambers in the rose
laying claim within the thorny tangle
safe from cats and courting cocks.
Twenty years this scene repeats
tunes the same, colours never fade
master-pieces hung about,
primrose, daffodil, an acropetal
succession none compete, conjoined
until Michaelmas daisies fade
and Christmas comes again.

Submitted: Friday, January 24, 2014
Edited: Saturday, January 25, 2014
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