From the long window on the half landing, I saw,

almost as soon  as you had filled the small bird feeders

under the pine and come inside, the big beasts land

to eat the scattered seeds – three wood pigeons, two turtle doves

and a solitary magpie –  then a cat appear, the birds scramble

and you again, shooing.

From where the hawk stoops, I heard the magpie’s

irrelevant chatterings, saw a tableau of live flesh;

saw our Victorian suburb from where the airplane flies –

heard nothing above the thrumming of the engines;

from beyond the stratosphere, saw somewhere

still not yet silenced by the enveloping yellow

of the Sahara or the Arctic’s melting blue.

From the long window, I heard the next track begin –

late Billie Holiday, ‘Dancing Cheek to Cheek’ –

heard her miss the key change yet again, promised myself

never to play it yet again.

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