Animal Behaviour

by Pam Newham

Two Egyptian geese pass my window.
The smaller one has a limp.
The other stops and turns back
as if watching over its mate.
It’s one of those moments:
an abandoned baby chimp
adopted by a Labrador,
swans that mate for life,
your cat curled in your suitcase,
eyes saying, “Don’t go.”
But then the larger goose flashes forward
and stabs its beak into its companion’s neck.
There is some squawking,
a brief flutter of feathers
and they continue on their way.
I watch them, one limping,
one goosestepping across the lawn.

You were with us then

You were with us then
in Turkey, as we stood
in the amphitheatre,
came through the Arch
of the Gladiators
and heard the cheering
of the crowds.

You were with us then
in Turkey, as we climbed
to our places high
above the arena
and witnessed the chariots
in our mind and choked
in the dust of flying hooves.

You were with us then
in Turkey, on the highest hill
and marvelled
at the skills of Hittites
and Romans
and bathed in their

Yes, you were with us then
in Turkey.