The local heron reflects on the times

The local heron reflects on the times

Some say they see my shadow underneath me; that it travels
ahead of me even
but the truth lies somewhere between what
the unknowing believe
and what the unbelieving know; take
fish, reputedly, by me, speared,
ingested, carp, ghost coy,
booty when they’re grown for the raiders in the white vans;
the flog-em-off to garden-centre crew.
I take their blame; I paint
this constituency its probable shade of orange,
watch flickering reds like fish tongues
panting, spear, not their restless slippery bodies
but packets of unfurled bunting,
red, blue, white, resting in open sheds,
on roofs of garages, in tidy villages where ponds
are swilled out twice daily if the water looks black.

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