This poem is taken from Stand 223, 17(3) September - November 2019.

Lucy Sheerman Poem
from Pine Island

26 January
Cambridge

Dearest,

Those geese descend from the grey sky again, out of the blue you might say. The sudden shock of sound breaking overhead. This time it’s not real of course, it’s a moment my friend, the curator, has shared by text. It was almost a year ago we saw them together as we walked into Kettle’s Yard at dusk.

You want to make it into a symbol and the human brain tends to arrange things like this. Geese on the wing, it is winter breaking apart, even at its harshest point. At last the days are encroaching into that deep night it seemed would never end. We believe this despite the eclipse of the jewel-bright moon on Sunday.

These patterns from the natural world shape our days even as we defy such ordering. I will flout this rule, you might think, but instead you feel the urge to share another story of how you were defined by it. The time when you stood beneath the unruly flock of geese and this discord raining down upon your life was

insubstantial as dusk. Take greyness and turn it into something other. It’s close to silver. My friend, looking at the sky doesn’t see grey, but mauve. You might argue that there’s a trick to what you look for but with her it’s just a stubborn insistence on the truth of colour.

Yours,
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