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17.10.2020

The Tallest Tree

The robin calls, the robin sees
The robin flies to the tallest tree
The tallest tree so far from earth
The robin watches from the highest perch
The highest perch, the longest view
The robin watches me and you
Me and you, them and them
Observer of maelstrom
 
She turns her head towards the brine
A lifeboat caught in the salty swell
The salty sweat of desperate souls
Lives preserved by hull and stern
 
A jouncing head, with begging eyes
Grasping hands that scrape the side
Despite more flesh than boat can bear
Of course they could not let him die
 
And in the night that closed that day, with beak in wing she dreams
Of Africa, desolation, thirsty, sun-scorched fields
Crops sent o’er to feed the fat whilst mother’s milk runs dry
This time in the lifeboat, the rescued shut their eyes
 
The robin calls, the robin sees
The robin flies to the tallest tree
The tallest tree so far from earth
The robin watches from the highest perch
The highest perch, the longest view
The robin watches me and you
Me and you, them and them
Observer of maelstrom
 
Her eyes fix on a distant cry
A hooded child with arm aloft
Alarms and sirens mask the crack
Cheers and smiles as brick hits glass
A swarm of bats with cloak and shield
A flock of magpies hoarding junk
The nest of things soon boarded up
And looting birds caged up
 
The second night, her sleep disturbed by visions of a street
Where crows in pinstripe uniform, gather to repeat
The systematic ruin of the commoner’s nest egg
To feast upon their bonuses and then freely fly onwards
 
The robin calls, the robin sees
The robin flies to the tallest tree
The tallest tree so far from earth
The robin watches from the highest perch
The highest perch, the longest view
The robin watches me and you
Me and you, them and them
Observer of maelstrom