Corncrake

A corncrake haunts our meadow still
pale summer nights
his eye alert
his call rasping at sleep
breaking into dreams
from dusk till dawn
from here from there
where tangled grasses
sway in flower
cock’s foot, timothy, sweet vernal.

Hay in June if the weather holds
and the man with a scythe
leans forward
to find his way back
back to last year’s steady rhythm
a turn a swing a timeless dance
laying a swathe
then stepping smoothly on.

Hot with sleep a child turns
looks up through the dazzling air
up into the fierce blue of tomorrow
and tomorrow the weather will hold again
a mechanical god will cut and bale
the towering grass of childhood
those summer voices silent
heard only in dreams
the corncrake long since fled.

Selese Roche is a freelance English language editor and poet and lives between Kildare and Amsterdam. Her work has been published in The Stony Thursday Year Book (Limerick Arts Council), Galway 47, The High Window, London Grip and Poetry Ireland Review.

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