The Plane And The Blackbird


a cold bright sun
two days to christmas
a first-quarter moon
at a good vantage-point

a small white coffin
driven slowly uphill
from the cemetery gate
to the minimal grave

fifty people attending
unexpected collection
of nettle-stung hearts
at a barely-lived dying

a shuffling past yews
thoughts finding rhythm
a lightness that bred
from a silent aceptance

a red-arrowed plane
in single formation
scissored the sky’s blue
above the procession

sagittarian arrow
a sizzling of fire
an unconscious dipping
of wings in salute

to a baby whose burning
from birth to departing
took thirteen fast days
from rain into sunshine

till almost the hilltop
the hole with its mound
a circle of people
shared its raw hollow

no vicar no service
a speaking of poems
cotoneaster sprigs
dropped into the grave

the red plane returned
cut its own circle
honoured the sunlight
and passed by the moon

from a treetop nearby
a sharp-singing blackbird
trilled its objective
gold-beaked lullay

the grave was filled in
the high hill deserted
and down in the valley
a rare christmas came

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