Each evening they appear at dusk
in ones and twos –
return from distant foraging.
Flapping untidy wings in laboured flight,
gathering as a cawing group,
heading for their roost in Hazelwood.
Today, nest building in the tallest trees
that screen the wood.
Feathers, flickering with a purple sheen,
birds stalk through the plough
gathering stems of autumn straw,
twigs snapped from skeleton hedge –
their cries lost to a bitter wind.
Toing and froing, this noisy congregation
battles swift gusts,
land unsteadily in topmost branches.
Slowly, under a cold March sun,
old architecture is refreshed,
new nests built –
airy cradles to rock this Springtime’s young.