On the Line
On the telegraph pole a seabird perches
white against black cloud.
Centring the maypole of conversations
it transforms our calls. Hello? Hello?
Words pass up its pink legs, behind
red-ringed eyes, through the yellow bill,
down every feather’s quill and feather-edge,
until the fractal distances connect
and we shout over our shoulder:
It’s a seabird on the phone! A seabird wants to speak to you.
And raindrops glide to join at each wire’s dip
and growth rings
in the pinewood pole
dry and crack as we press plastic
to our ears, frowning:
Who is this? Speak up!