The swallows were here before us, by Richard Carpenter
We wait for the builder to juggle
his time; mend an ancient stack
before it crumbles into pieces;
splits the tiles from ridge to gutter.
We wait while the swallows juggle
the second brood on the cow-byre
roof. Will he come before they fly?
Pick up the phone and mutter.
We wait while the seasons juggle
winter into spring. Stack and stove
keep us warm as we watch the sky
for the owners to come home.
We wait while the partners juggle
with straw and mud for the nest,
fuss over eggs, chase down flies,
share stories with the wagtails,
sparrows, pigeons, dive bomb
the cat to find another spot to curl.
The swallows sold us our home
with a codicil to share the byre.
Copyright the author and first published by Friends of Rowntree Park 2015.