As the weather warmed the day would come
when the air exploded with twittering
and excited martins. I checked my book:

white eggs as small as peas; mud nests
under country eaves; black suited, white shirted.
There were hundreds of them. And they would make

the spring from mud and spit, turn back the clouds
and inspect everything. Housekeepers,
busy tenders of the sky, agile little spitfires.

I could have simply flown away by looking
at them! They come from Africa
my mother said, and bring good luck.

When I told the gang, we stood in the lane,
outstretched for any luck they might gob
at us or in the puddles at our feet.

John Stuart