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Lapwings on Winter Fields
a poem by Mike Sharpe

Photo  Copyright 2006 Denise Doherty
Photo: Denise Doherty

A Royal visit.
Suddenly, lapwings have arrived,
unlooked-for, unannounced,
as though to catch us off our guard.

Yesterday, a mob of starlings,
glistening like cheap jewelry,
poked and prodded these same wet fields.
But not today.
They wouldn't dare approach
this presence, this calm unhurried dignity,
this crested poise.

Before they go, they'll clap the clouds
with innocent flamboyance
taunting mad skies
until the thunder breaks.

And yet I fear for them.
Their proud audacity
can't take the measure
of a world that threatens them.

I count them one by one
and search the sky
for others that haven't come.

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UK Safari Lapwing Fact File

  2010 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved