Cockcrow

Patricia Beer

Up at five o’clock on an August morning
We carry light luggage out of the house.
With heavy cases our children stoop.
Their children are winged
With small bright backpacks.

The sky is a shop window before opening-time,
Goods shadowy as trees. But in a back room
And spreading, the light will soon come on.

We breathe cautiously in the untried air,
Talk warily at the centre of six fields.

And then comes cockcrow, swaggering up
Out of the valley. The invisible bird
Plumes himself. He was the one chosen
To nail good terrified Peter. He conquers
The dark with flying colours.

We wave our dear children and theirs
Into the growing light. We are old
And sleep late after bad nights.
We shall not hear the conquistador again
Till they visit us in another season
Travelling up the valley like cockcrow.