THE STRANGER IN THE COPPICE

a poem by Kenneth Heiar, USA

Beneath the pine boughs, dimly lit,
where bush and bramble grow,
there flashed dark feathers ... what was it?
I could not claim to know.

I moved in for a closer look,
but it stayed out of view.
Well hidden in its shaded nook,
perhaps its call would do.

I strained to hear a single song,
a warble, buzz or trill.
The silence seemed to last so long.
The coppice remained still.

I thought about my timid guest.
What places had it seen?
What caused it to stop here for rest?
Was its home as serene?

Did it once call the arctic home,
or know tall mountains well?
Did it far Argentine fields roam?
What stories could it tell?

Then from the margin of my sight
a sudden flurry sent
the welcome stranger off in flight
unaware what it meant.

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