Glassed in all day like this I keep towelling the windows dry—
Trying to wipe the fog away that keeps me blind behind glass,
Unable to see the world outside for what it is, the way things
Become shadows and blunted silhouettes of themselves, birds.
Only blurs where they shake a branch when they land or leave
Or just dash past, a flash of cloud-particles snatching at crumbs.
As I do each time I get the big window clear again and try
To take in the colours and shapes out there, all the living bits
Of matter that stand in their own ordinary uncanny light until
Blearing begins again and I see it’s my own breathing does it.
No matter go on, while the little rabbit engine of the skull
Keeps drumming the end thing and (arse-up in water that’s
Half iced over) the ducks are making little kittenish sounds
And (mandarin eyes cast down) airborne geese are figuring on the wing
Their ice-landing chances. Still warm and looking normal
It was only the heron’s glazed gaze and unfazed stillness
Gave the game (his death) away, whose bronzed lemon splayfoot
Will lift and settle no more in swamp or stream in such a silence
That the hunted fish or frog could know no more of him than
Of any stone or branch stuck in mud or briskly kissed by water.