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Titchwell Marsh

by Mollie Skipper

Flocks of twitchers
gather on marshland bordering the Wash,
eyes out on binocular stalks
or telescoped on tripods.
Since dawn they've hovered,
swooping their sights down to the shore,
arcing their vision to follow flight
too fast for their prosthetics.

Sandpipers patient on one leg,
pose long enough for capture by camera.
Ducks are sighted from hides
playing silly games.
They preen their popularity
in muddied reed-fringed pools.
Colour seeps across wet-painted sky,
backdrop for flight's aerobatics.

Twitcher knowledge
names each bird by its song,
its colour, its flight.
Naming shackles them to records,
draws them in on invisible threads
to be logged and labelled.
Caught up against the boundary of a lens,
flight interrupted, will they fall
as though stunned?

Norfolk Poems




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