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High Flyer

At 7.43 each night
a heron cuts across my ground
from south to north: a scheduled flight,
direct, unhurried, homeward bound.

Two nights ago, a mob of rooks
(or were they crows? I know, of course,
mob’s not the right collective noun
for either group of feathered crooks)
were doing their collective best
to bring the solo traveller down
or drive it off their patch by force.

With no success. I watched it climb
above them with a turn of speed
not prodigal of energy,
sufficient to the moment’s need:
an interrupted calm renewed.

Last night I stood outside to see
the heron heading to its nest
unruffled, at the usual time.
Such hauteur. Such exactitude.