‘It could only happen in Ireland’
(Flann O’Brien)

While we were waiting for the bird-watcher group,
We idly fixed our binoculars upon
An American grand party in the grounds
By the fringes of the lake ( where we could see
Also, we thought, turnstones). A barbecue,
With wine glasses, brown arms, red dresses
In the sun: people casually and idly
Drinking and eying each other over,
Dreaming of the likely hotel afternoon.
Meanwhile the heron lifted herself away,
In no great hurry, over the water
To the grey middle island where the saint’s
Oratory was, or so the locals told you.
Ready for any eventuality,
We tucked our trousers inside our woollen socks.