Listening to sermons, pondering wrongdoing,
he heard of waywardness, false gods, idolatry,
and sin and retribution and the dreaded
fornication. He was just fifteen.
And a year later, Karen, from the estate,
letting her breast nestle against him,
and no shame. Her brothers daredevils,
biking on Sundays down Carmarthen Road.
Years on, the church’s peal of Sunday bells
and a ring of history. But he and his on Sundays
go to the coast and to the hedgerow path,
blackbirds in spring, blown spray in winter.
Creation’s coil is still unwinding,
as physicists clamour for attribution.
In the hedge, in May, the blackbird sings
of brood, of birth, of nestled breast.
Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet and sometime short story writer whose work has been widely published in the UK, and in the USA in Main Street Rag, San Pedro River Review, Red River Review, Pyrokinection, and Constellations. He has one chapbook, Merlin’s Lane (Prolebooks, 2011).