CHOUGH LOVE

I met my love in a cotton mill,

Far away from the Atlantic’s blasts.

Together miner and bal-maiden,

We worked to unearth our Cornish pasts.

Drawn to the land of our ancestors;

A hard rock place surrounded by surf.

Retracing steps on cliff path and lane;

Our ears tuned for the call of the chough.

But this elegant crow was missing

(Despite being the national bird);

Had vanished from these sea-sculpted shores.

It’s plangent CIAO!! no more to be heard.

Conspicuous in absentia

On Cornwall’s coat of arms, it conjoins

With the fisherman and the miner

And fifteen bezants or golden coins.

A touchpaper lit on The Lizard,

Now a hundred fireworks blaze the air;

Our Kernow made complete whenever

We chance to witness a tumbling pair.

Anthracite black with red legs and beak

That favours the Gwennap Head daymark

And we discovered them together

Even stroked one at Paradise Park?

They stand for us a symbol of love

Staying together until death’s knell.

Heritage called us back to Cornwall

And the choughs chose to come back as well.

© gray lightfoot