They did not notice the wintry landscape
As they hurried down muddied paths,
Their protective goggles mirroring
The sky – grey as felt.
Amongst the gathered reeds and sedges
They found a solitary Swan;
This was the first reported, with him started the count.
They saw, as they pulled on protective gloves,
The lifeless body
Bob and drift within widening rings.
They looked upon this wretched beast,
Their faces ploughed with concern.
All’s changed since he would whoop,
Powerfully winging from here to the arctic tundra,
And return with a proud post-coital swagger.
Their breath caught in protective masks,
They encircled the stained white lump.
Each feather weighted as with lead
From the icy water was drawn,
As they lifted him back towards the sky
And cradled his lolling head.
His angular bill flashed (the colour of daffodils)
And his dewy eyes blindly bulged
Before being dumped into a black bag,
Protectively sealed.

© GB 2007

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