She may have had prey on her mind swooping
round across the hedge over my shoulder.
Or was she heavy, weighed down already
with a dead or struggling weight? If I had known
and could have watched her coming
I would have marvelled at her insolence or gasped
at her parabola but I was flat surprised
and left with just the scaling
of her back, the hunched wings that vanished
over brambles and down the hill. I looked
as far as I could. She did not appear
at the valley floor. As I lifted the fork
again and turned it round, I had a sense
of her turning for home in strong, slow time.
© John Stuart