for Don Paterson

The only thing a poet should do is look
out their window and remember all the plants,
the birds and little animals do not know
the names by which we call them.

Today, to get some practice,
I kneel on my bed and watch
a magpie with a twig
several times its length

sit very still

on the roof opposite,
as if wondering what to do
now it has bitten off more
than it can chew, or safely carry.

I want to watch the bird we call magpie
do what we call problem solving.
I will not leave the house today.
I want to know the answer to the problem.




Also by Emily,