Bird Walk

by Lavinia Greenlaw
bird_walkWhite nights feather my mind.
I am a giant of sleeplessness, as high
as the cliff where auks lay teetering eggs
which droop roughly, like tears.
They won’t roll. My mind rolls.
To sleep, I must think like the birds
in camouflage, decoys and patrols.
Redshanks storm the grass, post sentries
on telegraph poles, as highly strung
as the oystercatchers all in a flap,
outcrying their young to mislead crows
who shrug and brag and lunge.
At three a.m., a black cormorant dives.
A needle, a nightfall, it closes my eyes.


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