In Pursuit of Spring
Rows of finches hung along the wall,
battered ones a shilling and
the neater ones for eighteen-pence,
linnets pushing up against the edges
of their six-inch cage, sounding
as they had among the Downs.
I saw a man leave clutching at
a paper bag and not much further
up the road bend down to let
one of the poor things go; outside,
among the trees, that finch’s
dingy plumage made no mark.