For Anna, who is Sixty today

November. Here grey skies, wind and rain,
greet your birthday, then a great storm in the night,
the ancient gods arguing on the hills.
‘I love this weather!’ you cry.

When we wake, the rain has stopped, but the wind
still moans at the doors and rattles the windows,
and I recall its rage as hour after hour
it howled out its grief for the passing years.

Or seemed to. That is me, though, not the wind,
not the autumn weather. Perhaps the wind
howls as the wolves howl, to celebrate
another moon, another season,

or as the wulcat yowls,
in a sexual frenzy, seeking a mate.
No grief there. And no grief where
the seagulls soar and call – call – call,

while the chickens cower in their coops.
The heat and dust all washed away
the mood outside now is winter beach
after a storm. ‘Let’s go for a walk, watch

the waves crash in, the seagulls float on the wind!’
You were always a seagull, your soul
soaring out over the open sea,
never a stay-at-home chicken or caged canary.

Glyfada, Greece, 20th November, 2013

© James Munro

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