Swallows

A sparkling sea day
Before innocence left us.
A cottage
Saved from gloom by fresh white wash.
Blue fish nets and
Lobster pots litter the yard.

We venture in.

Musk of crusted sea-salt
Softens dark corners.
Walls not warmed by human sleep in over sixty years.
Up rotting stairs
Into afternoon light
Beaming through dollhouse windows.
At first glance hundreds
But probably twenty red faces
Darting to and fro.
Their deep blue bodies bright against white stone.
Smaller than we’d ever imagined.

Flown off course.
Desperate to rejoin their caravan
To warmer shores.
Frantic wings on the glass
A wordless scream.
Our small hands tried to catch them.
We only saved a few
But left the cottage open
Hoping they could stop and see
Their freedom lay close by.
The width of an eye.

The following week;
The floor of the house strewn
With deep blue twig-footed
dead.

 

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