Omens

Robert Crawford

after the Gaelic of the ‘Carmina Gadelica’

Monday at 6 a.m.
I heard a lamb,

And then, while I sat by,
A snipe’s kid-cry.

I saw the cuckoo, grey as slate
Before I ate.

On Tuesday, late,
A slimy flagstone shone
Where snails had gone,

And the wheatear, like
Ash off a dyke,

Flapped where the old mare’s black
Foal stumbled and turned its back.

I sensed right there,
Right then
a right bad year.