In Kenya, to bleached branch it came,
noon’s bird, Malachite kingfisher.
Even the broad beak borrowed flame.
At Rousham – was the Cherwell there? –
with friends who, later, trekked through hell,
sun’s amber, fallen skies lit air.
Near Oxford, by the stained canal
your latest love turned unkind. You
watched rainstorms fade. Wings burned banks blue.
When the drab days unwind you
do not put streams behind you.
Wait for the light to blind you.
Published in The Countryman.