Caroline Davies and Jane Hulstrunk

Jane Hulstrunk

Blue Birds
By Caroline Davies
Inspiration piece

You used to wait for them to return,
‘Blue birds’ you called them,
before you could say ‘Swallow’
‘Blue Birds Back’ was your triumphal cry.
They’d flown such a long way.
Each year they’d nest under the eaves
of the old barn; raise a family.

When the army sent you back to me injured,
I moved your bed so you could watch from the window.
How you huddled under the red woollen blanket,
unable to get warm but impatient at my attentions.

All you wanted was to sleep and recover
so you could get back to your men.
I’d hear you calling out to them at night,
telling them to take cover.
In the morning I’d change sheets
soaked with nightmares.

Nonetheless the army decided
you were ‘fit for active service’.
The following spring it was the same boy
who brought the Post Office Telegraph
telling me you’d died of wounds.

The swallows still come every year
the offspring of the ones you knew.

Note: All of the art, writing, and music on this site belongs to the person who created it. Copying or republishing anything you see here without express and written permission from the author or artist is strictly prohibited.