Above me, on the slates, pigeons are cooing –
and some already billing, though winter
has many weeks to run. Like a shadow play,
sunlight silhouettes them on the wall
the study window faces. From the desk,
I have looked up, over three decades,
to tease, from bricks, reluctant words of love.
Before the allotments were sold off,
by the railway, there were pigeon lofts.
At dawn, out of a livid sky, birds
would home with only guessed at effort, like
the best of words: would touch down in the
empty, wooden rooms, now beating
with feathers, now cooing.