Day five – back to nature

Day five’s challenge was to write a poem about nature and it made me think about a gannet we cared for when I was a child. The poor thing was a young bird that had been blown off course and found itself in Sussex, which is not really renowned for its gannet colonies!

As my father was an RSPCA volunteer, we took it in and nursed it back to health until it could be released in an appropriate location. I feel like he lived with us for ages but probably it was only a few weeks. The local paper picked up on it and our photo even appeared in the Daily Mirror Book for Girls!

Gannet

Storm-stranded,
he landed at our door.
Immature, unsure of
what we were or
where he needed to be.
Fixed by his gimlet eye
I waited, patiently,
the six-year-old me
daunted by the sheer size,
and overwhelming need,
of this overgrown gull.
Boundaries agreed,
he meekly allowed
his magnificence
to be crammed
unceremoniously
into my doll’s pram,
where he majestically
held court as I wheeled him
daily round the block.
He thrived and grew.
In a slopping bucket
we brought pout home alive,
taught him to dive,
clumsily, inadequately,
into the depths
of our dull ceramic bath,
to claim his prize.
On our faded settee,
he sat by me
as I read him fairy tales,
the day’s news,
or just passed the time.
Too soon, like dragons
and childhood,
he was gone.
I hope he soared free,
high over chalk cliffs,
speared the sea
and maybe,
once or twice,
remembered me.

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3 thoughts on “Day five – back to nature

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