Bernard O'Donoghue
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levielan's avatar
By levielan   |   
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Published: June 5, 2010
The Nuthatch

I couldn't fathom why, one leafless
Cloudcast morning he appeared to me,
Taking time off from his rind-research
To spread his chestnut throat and sing
Outside my window. His woodwind
Stammering exalted every work-day
For weeks after. Only once more
I saw him, quite by chance, among
The crowding leaves. He didn't lift
His head as he pored over his wood-text.
Ashamed of the binocular intrusion,
Like breath on eggs or love pressed too far,
I'm trying to pretend I never saw him.

The Faultline

When there's a sprinkle of snow
In mid-January, yet not enough
To stop it turning vein-translucent.
When young relationships freeze
And snap. When death, suddenly,
Crops up in the conversation
And no one quite remembers
Who raised the subject. As far past
Solstice as November was before it;
No sign of spring, and no
Going back. All just serving
To show, in case we'd forgotten,
Our faultline: that we're designed
To live neither together nor alone.
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