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Landing Lights

The owl’s arrival and departure
is all silent cinema and radical manoeuvre.
Soon she will find what has called her forth –
radium-bright lines of urine in the grass,
or any essential diversion
that flight, with its silencing serrations
of feather and sheer attention to detail
can reveal. The same applies to you.
It’s a tall order, but height and distance
have been determining factors.
Secrecy, too, has been useful.
Now that I’m able to see you clearly,
flying around at the mercy of your needs,
it’s no mystery – you can’t move
from one decision or place to another
unless guided by external forces –
even a forecast of bad weather
will see you grounded, confused,
hungry and weak with fear.
I’ll make landing lights from a grassfire,
wave you down with gestures
of guidance and care. I will shout
the names of safe houses we’ve known.
I will say your name like a secret
meeting place, but I won’t climb ladders
of air to be with you. I’ve seen the lie
of the land from where you are,
and it’s non-negotiable.