York

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When I am dead I shall come back
to this place
and watch
Tom’s black cat leap from the roof line in King’s Square
and curl in the baker’s doorway, purring.

I shall come back
to this place
and listen
to the trees in Dean’s Close
applauding themselves;
to the flat pavement slap of feet at noon,
to the tumbling drunks at midnight
to the Minster bell.

I shall stand
with the long dead
listening to wild geese pass
in the darkness.

We shall wait in the shadows
for the first gleam of sunrise
to tip the Minster tower.

When I am dead
I shall come back
to this place
foregoing heaven.

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York Minster. Dawn.

A sky blanching at the edges.
Pale stone and creeping shadows.

Crouched in a wind worn crevice
high above, a kestrel
turns her hooked head, hears
the clap of pigeon wings,
and flings over the edge,
steel grey and copper, stooped
from some old bestiary,

beak and talons reaching out for blood.