• Joanna Seldon

  • Robin in York

    The Minster bell has just tolled twelve

    As I pause on the city wall to take in

    This chill late January Sunday morning.

    The Minster’s skirts slope green already

    With spring, and the promise of later bluebells.

    Clumps of snowdrops cling to the banks.


    And, straight ahead of me, so close

    I could reach to try and touch a feather,

    A robin sits on a stump and pauses with me.

    The head swivels a little, eyes alert,

    But he doesn’t seem to fear me.

    I can see the pulse of his heart,

    The throb pressing the red throat.

    I can see the tiny, silver cloud

    Where his breath meets the cold air.

    Do birds, chill-blooded, have warm breath?

    Perhaps the cloud I see is mine.