March 20, 2021


Dear blackbird on the aerial,

It was lovely to meet you the other day. I had just passed through the song bubble of your territorial neighbour on my walk. He was at the top of the still bare ash tree in the little scrap of nature reserve, singing to the sky. I left that precious patch of green with regret and a deep sigh (as I always do), and continued my walk through the housing estate. Even my inadequate hearing could still just grasp the edge of the ash tree blackbird's song as I entered your song bubble.

I heard you before I saw you, but there you were, perched on a TV aerial, your back to the just-risen sun. Ripe, rich notes tumbled from your saffron beak. Your glorious voice bounced off the harsh brickwork and flowed over tiles, gutters, drainpipes, patios and decking. It softened the hardness and made it glow the colour of cherry blossom. I could have stopped and listened to you for hours, but we're not allowed to linger outside our own territories now, so I had to head back home.

I listened intently as I walked, trying to hold your fading song in my ears all the way home.

Yours, in love and admiration,