A Promise of Spring

Blackbird - Practising for Spring
Blackbird – Practising for Spring

We keep a sharp eye out for any sign of Spring. It’s not that we are impatient for Winter to be gone, we wouldn’t be so impolite, but we would like some reassurance that Spring still has us on her To Do list. We have snowdrops everywhere, and many green spear-like leaves promising hyacinths, bluebells, daffodils and crocuses.

Now, there is a difference between birdsong and bird calls. Birds call all year round, but most only sing during the mating season. The blackbird is one of those with a markedly different set of sounds for Spring. With it being such a long time since last year, he can’t quite remember how the tune goes. As soon as he’s sure that Spring is really on the way, he will find a quiet corner and practise a few trills quietly to himself.

We’ve caught him doing this a few times these last few days – so I wrote him a poem.

In the hedge as I passed by,
in winter’s branches brown and dry,
I chanced to hear a blackbird sing
stirring in me brief thoughts of spring.
The melody was not so strong,
as if some half remembered song.
Softly, he sang this private bird,
not knowing I had overheard.
I, embarrassed to do such thing
silently left him to his practising.

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