You were here last year in your mother’s womb
at this cottage high above the straits.
Now you grab for buttercups, daisies, clover,
self-heal – and edge toward sleep in the stillness
under the parasol. Ringlet butterflies
flit across the grass. Blackbirds forage
among the mulch of last autumn’s leaves
at the margin where garden and woodlands merge.
A pheasant rattles somewhere out of sight.
Watching over you is a privilege.
Some time since last year, a sheep, lost in the woods,
died at the lawn’s edge. An elderberry
sapling is growing through the skull. The trees –
ash, oak, beech – are loud with hidden insects.
Nearby, a pair of buzzards is breeding.
They soar above us suddenly, calling:
pee-yah, pee-yah – hover, then bank away
over the tree line. And just as suddenly
the air is replete with other birds – swifts,
swallows, house martins, a jay, a herring gull.
On the mainland, roiling clouds envelop
Moel Wnion and the Carnedd range beyond,
their iron age settlements and the sheep runs,
and thick rain, all shades of grey from pencil
to gun metal, fills Bethesda’s slate quarries.
A military jet rip-roars the length
of the straits, simulating the Persian Gulf,
and a small factory ship thrums steadily,
hoovering mussels from their beds for Spain.
It’s a chancy universe, little one!
But here the sun still shines. You are waking.