Birds on the Lake by Carol Wain
Online - 26 June 2020
Birds on the Lake
by Carol Wain
Sun shimmers on an expanse of water -
We three who once knew her
Gaze out from the slotted windows
Of the turret hide that to me resembles
An old World War Two gun emplacement,
But here its purpose is benign.
A heron stands in total stillness, darkly
Silhouetted against the water’s light.
Canada geese waddle, graze and shovel,
And specks of smaller birds – ducks and coots -
Just visible through powerful binoculars
Emitting off-key notes, swim or dive for fish
Below water, breaking the surface further on.
This haven was new the year she died;
She never had the chance to come with us,
And I had never been, myself, till now -
Needing to escape the lingering
Dull feelings of loss that still cling,
Dissolving away as we walk in burning sun.
The peace of reed bed, bulrushes and iris,
Gliding and plopping of water fowl,
Dragonflies darting and whirring,
The splash of an artificial waterfall
And wild flower hues of mauve and yellow,
Mingled with the green of grass and rushes
Calm the mind for one endless afternoon.
The day after a visit with my husband and son to Barnes Wetlands Centre, in Richmond Borough, on a baking hot August afternoon in 2001.
Poem for the Day Birds on the Lake