Sunday, 1 April 2018

Robin Piper

The glass replaced by curtains sewn of snow,
a small triangle the only peering space.
And there he looked up bright from down below,
a demanding look on his beady mini face.
He held his wings in a silent show of might
and took a square, no-nonsense, solid stance;
a coalman's shoulders sported by a sprite,
there was no doubt he had the upper hand.

Soon the sheep will flood the fields again
and green will free what white has blanketed.
And then this little redbreast will retake
his wild ways and shun our every bid.

A maverick dancing to his unique tune,
the only bird to sing our year of days,
he's a dawn-chorister still singing with the moon,
the robin piper tells you when to pay.

(Explanation: In Ireland in 2018, we had snow in early February and thought that was it for the year, until we were visited by what became known as The Beast From The East or The Big Snow from 28th February to 4th March. Even after it stopped snowing it would be another two weeks before we would be snow free. Here in Co. Waterford we were snowed in. 
This incident with the robin happened on 1st March and again on the 2nd and 3rd. Once the thaw set in he took himself back off our step. He's "our" robin, a regular presence in our garden. He was peeping through the gap in the snow on our kitchen sliding door when I got up that first morning. We had put out plenty of bird food but, of course, it had been snowed over. That robin didn't move until I put out some more. We have tried many times to get him to eat a bit of cheese from our hands, but, while he likes following us around, he never comes that close. The reason we tried is that my dad has a little robin in his garden who does eat from his hand and who often follows him into the kitchen and perches on the back of a chair until he gets a bit of cheese or a piece of rasher.)