by Elaine Edwards
Interlude at Chartwell
The speckled hen, fenced by seven chicks, pecks and scratches
on the lawn; near her the cock struts, burnished feathers gleaming.
Among the leaves of a paperbark I see the flash of feathers:
yellow weavers, purple starlings. A southern boubou calls.
Dappled by sunlight, in a distant meadow, three cows wander.
Black swans glide, doubled in the waters of the dam.
The excrescence beyond, funded by a well-known politician,
(three stories-and climbing- of concrete and steel)
is hidden now by weeping willows.
The wind is blowing from the west;
we can’t hear the traffic snarling
or smell the smoke from Diepsloot.
The speckled hen clucks to her chicks.
We must be sure to close their hok tonight,
and save them from the mongoose.