The Magpie Sets Sail

There was a storm last night
And the Taff turns, a dirty wash
Rich with chocolate brown soil
Dragged down from the land
Of my father, my grandfather
My great-grandfathers
It is the wreckage, remnants
Broken from other people’s lives
Flotsam, footballs, fences
Trees, there goes one now
A magpie perched, nobly
On the slender trunk
He hops along its length
And onto the plume of its roots
Stands, like a Reverend at a lectern
Or the Captain of a ship
He is charting a course
How far will he go?
Where did he go?
I like to think he made it, out to sea
The magpie, that broke free
Days later, and I pass the same spot
Where black-headed gulls now gather
Their backs against the current
Allowing the tide to take them
They look to each other
Have they missed it?
The sermon, the boat, their chance?
I imagine him, even now
Off the coast of Greenland
Cawing to the seals
Calling to those who will listen
To the magpie, that chose adventure

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