Some days it seems enough to learn
the French names of the birds
I can see from my study window
or when we walk along the beach:
goéland; chevalier; grand cormoran;
bécasseau; tournepierre à collier;
and yesterday a faucon crécerelle
unmoving in the wind which stirred
the trees which mark the line
between our garden and the sand.
That’s why, you said, they say it flies
en Saint-Esprit . . .
We may be alone here for weeks.
If so, I’ll keep a watch
hoping he’ll come again
as though he’d bring a blessing
in his train.
Published in Snakeskin 271, April 2020