City Winter

Alongside the university
the black elms arch,
their upper and outer reaches
veined against pallid sky.
High above Parkville
a hundred feathered bodies
punctuate the grey.
The black-clad scholar,
his habitual downcast glance
lured skywards
by the dip and swerve of birds,
envies their precision
and their abandonment to air.
All this I watch,
and my own face white
in the darkening rain-stained
window of the tram.

The Natural World