Guest Poet John Meredith

Do You Remember When

Driving through Shropshire too fast on an unfamiliar road,
A great bird took to the air in front,
Taloned and hook-beaked and so sudden
There was no time to slow or stop
All we could do was gape
As it reeled up and over us.
We could hardly believe we had missed it.

‘An eagle!’ you said although we both knew better,
And then it was gone.
And the evening gloom came on as we continued into the hills
And a damp weekend of fog and heavy going.

What else remains of that slight journey?
Poor weather, good traffic?
Not long ago but already vague
Like a thousand other journeys we have made.

But that bird!
Without warning it rears up again
Out of the half-light
That instant when we both saw an eagle,
An eagle.

July, 1999

John Meredith's Questions:

1  Is the tone too prosey and matter-of-fact?

2  Does the poem succeed in finding some universality in a very personal moment?

3  What on earth can be done about the (many) technical deficiencies?

The Albany Poetry Workshop