Sarah Thomasin

The Robin Man
(Philip Edwards 1907 – 2007)

Though he was never anything but ancient
To my young eyes,
He had been, once, joint youngest.
I thought that his old bones had always creaked
As, every day, across the lawn he hobbled
To catch the sun.

Slowly, his large and wrinkled hand unfolded
Revealing crumbs of lurid orange cheese
And smiling, silently, he’d hold it out.
And birds would come.

I thought that he was magic;
A cunning man, with powers
To bend the whole of nature to his will.
His eyes, though, danced and sparkled like a child’s
To see his robins.

I longed to know the secret;
Vainly chased after rabbits, grabbed at frogs
Which, panicking, slipped wetly from my hands
As he, old wizard, charmed the birds and foxes
By being still.

His wisdom was: he spread his hands wide open
And when the life he held wanted to leave him,
He let it fly.







 
 

 

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