A long section of the grassy bank beside
the ornamental lake is roped-off –
a pair of Canada Geese is nesting,
the first in the history of the Park
with its long-serving Coots and Mallards.
We sit on a bench and contemplate the geese –
almost as big as Mute Swans; adept
colonisers, considered still, after
three hundred years, non-native; this chance pair
perhaps blown off course between raucous lagoons.
We are distracted by raised voices
from the opposite bank – three picnickers
on a rug in the April sunshine,
a young woman and perhaps her parents.
Between the murmur of the older woman’s
responses and the man’s rumblings, we hear
occasional words from the impassioned
young woman: ‘…moral compass…out of control…
no time limit…crimes against humanity…
At our feet an Ivy Bee – a much newer
immigrant than the geese, landing where Hitler
and Napoleon were expected,
and moving a little further north
year by year – is making a nest in the bank.
Finished it disappears into the earth,
leaving a perfectly circular mound
of grains of sandy soil – a solitary,
relentless labourer, a bee for our times.