Were we to meet again, we might recall that day.
Approach it as we did back then,
on abandoned track: the sleepers long gone
but old ballast lending traction
to our pram wheels – ramshackle, loaded down.
Nets and bags, rings and pliers, spring balance,
wing rule, leg gauge.
Ten-foot bamboo poles with guys and pegs to fix them.
Tranquil in the high summer dawn,
reed beds finger chill, pongy with marsh gas.
Cloud and damp burned off by the risen sun,
we’d reached the point of humdrum packing up
when that chance capture came.
Stubby legs between white knuckles – I held them tight
while you focussed your lenses.
No photo could match that feathered shimmering though,
tense with anticipation of release.
Like arrow from a bow,
a flash of electric blue on orange
fixed our halcyon fellowship.
The day we caught a kingfisher.
iii. 2019 – xi. 2023