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Bad Weather Over Heathrow

It’s pouring, cold and foggy, outside my window

about twenty sparrows are twittering, jostling

on the sill for a musical-chairs-perch of feathered,

breast-throbbing dryness, as others flit around,

miserable as latecomers to a packed bus shelter


Snug in my dressing gown I observe them there,

like incoming flights over Heathrow, circling,

each waiting for a crackling command from

air control: Sparrow SP252 come in on runway D


I grab my camera to snap the scene – oh boy

it’s set on flash with redeye prevention –

Heathrow explodes in lightning as planes fly off

to alternative airports, bells ring, announcements

tell of delays in five languages, crowds pushing

loaded trolleys mill around.  A dropped cold drink bottle


Gets crushed underfoot, one little sparrow is stuck

between the burglar proofing and can’t get out,

in vain he wriggles, pecks at the metal bar, flaps

his wings and finally to the relief of his hovering

parents, pops out and flies off to a nearby tree


A little girl, clutching a pink satchel decorated

with SpongeBob stickers stands crying my drink,

my drink.  I hand her my cup of hot chocolate

that I’ve just fetched from the kitchen, get back

under the blankets.  On a day like this there’s not

much point in getting up early


By Thursday it will blow itself out

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© Johnmichael Simon



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