The skylark population of the UK declined by 75% between 1972 and 1996. It is still declining.
There is an absence in the air.
A feeling of loss
for those who knew.
For those who saw
a tiny speck of brown
raise itself up on a column of air
into a clear blue sky
on a day just like this-
singing itself into being.
A tiny body
thrilling with life.
A tiny heart has stopped beating
and the world is smaller.
Each time was a surprise.
A cascade of notes
streaming down through the sky,
hanging on the wind-
seeming to come from nowhere.
I searched the sky
for a speck of brown-
the open beak and swelling throat
too distant to see.
A whole body transformed into song.
I don’t remember when I heard it last.
I didn’t feel the loss coming.
I would have liked to say goodbye
but maybe it was for the best.
I can sit here
watching the gulls glide across the silence