I am lucky, my window looks across the road to a path
parallel to the street, and more travelled road beyond
and then the park, the meadows, space of trees, grass
more paths and people moving about their day.
The window restricts the view to its angle, my sightline
takes in the traveller from the left on the near path
tree shadows falling on soundless footsteps until
that person leaves to the right, to the wings of my stage.
Stage right, stage left, the entrances and exits
frame my day. I can hear the hum of cars now returning
busy about their business. I hear nothing of the conversation
of people passing. I can’t lipread, I follow the language of gesture.
I have seen companionship, leisure, pleasure, and rush.
Some determination, runners and cyclists and those returning
from shopping, each have their own focussed intent.
I dislike the headphoned, like parents and tag along children best.
Mostly I watch the trees. They own this stage, stand in it.
Sky and clouds are patches silhouetting leaf edges black
at stage right, while centre and left the shades of green
flicker from lime to forest, in summer weight moved by air.
There are birds I cannot see, except in a moment
their movement betrays their presence before camouflage
of branch and leaf returns and no amount of staring, waiting
patient gaze, brings the creature back for me to see.
Except for pigeons. Sometimes none, for hours they are
off somewhere minding pigeon business, vanished from view.
Then they return, pecking assiduously at the grass beside the path
and two or sometimes three, decide to spend time in the tree.
They land heavy on twigs that look too small, dip and sway
Clumsy settling to the rhythm, I imagine mild swearing more shoo than coo
One comes, bellyflops backwings quivering branch drops him
to a branch lower down. He sits fluffing wings, head tossed.
As if he meant to do that. Just a flutter, a pigeon panic.
A lesson in practicality. Life’s balancing act.