They’d perch on phone wires near the house 
to twitter sub-Saharan words, 
red-throated, hectic immigrants. 
We tried to welcome them, spell out 
our joy at their return, but like 
confused hoteliers we mumbled. 
They’d flown for days, five thousand miles, 
across dust deserts, mountains, sea, 
to occupy old nesting sites 
and through high summer skim around 
our chicken run and hoover up 
their prey, then bolt into the dark 
where tiny mouths demanded food; 
loud-gaping purses of attention; 
insects tendered on the wing. 
And then a blue-black shoulder turned 
once more to greet out there, the endless 
blue of summer skies, their home. 
Simon Fletcher has had 4 collections of poetry published, the last Close to Home, Headland, in 2015, and poems in many magazines including, recently, Orbis, Envoi and The Seventh Quarry.