Two Little Boys And One Tiny Bird

Written by: Tom Higgins

I am eight years old, my friend is ten,
the sky is billions and azure blue,
we are walking to St Bees and the beach, when,
suddenly a skylark soars piping his tune so true.
We watch and listen as the tiny bird,
in undulating flight trills his lovely song,
it is like nothing else that we have ever heard,
and he keeps singing for joy as we continue along
the narrow country lane down to the sea,
where all day we'll explore the rocky shore and weedy fronds,
knowing that there will doubtless be,
myriads of strange creatures in their salty ponds.

I am fifty seven, my friend is fifty nine,
his health is not so good, but he battles on,
myself, I am feeling mostly fine,
although the best years have now gone.
The sky is billions and a bit, and sometimes it is blue,
and as I drive along the still narrow lane
towards St Bees where skylarks once flew,
the only thing flying in the sky is a tiny silver plane,
and the only sounds come from engine noise, and BBC Radio Two.

Down on the beach the rocky pools and seaweed fronds,
all are clearly still there,
but there are not so many animals in their salty ponds,
did they just vanish into thin air?
Or is it perhaps that I can no longer see,
through these older, more tired eyes,
the same things I saw when I was young and free,
when with every day I would unwrap a new surprise?