They Came for the Shale

by James Tierney

The sparrow your dad loves to watch
pick seeds from the bottom of the garden
is getting too hot to fly.
Its pecking at his own feathers in some attempt
at relief.

Your bank holiday
seems to disappear

while              through the kitchen window               great machines bore holes
deep into your countryside view.

He brought you up on the line
Nothing lasts forever
but you’ve had that plastic giraffe on your windowsill
for twenty-three years
and it’s still as good as new.