The Shell

For Lucy

It seems strange to say it but

we’ve been constrained to a limited space.

We do have the privilege of a garden.

It’s all relatively new to us. A blessing just in time

before the world got stopped.

We established our very own animal pub there-

it’s called The Grain & Shell.

Birds & squirrels

feed & drink

& fight &

dance & mate,

but this Winter the water in the shell freezes

first a below-zero ice-skating rink, then a small mountain of hard snow.

Thirsty squeaking little birds cannot break through it;

squirrels lick the frozen surface

then leave in clear disappointment.

Every morning after tea & coffee

we now put another kettle on & melt

the glacial, hazy and rigid mirror

& watch the lot steam up in the cold air.

(We do make sure it’s not too hot- we don’t want to scald the punters).

The Shell, these days, gets frozen

almost right away, these cold days.

Nevertheless we do persist.

It will get warmer,

in the end.

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