The oystercatcher furtling about in the

mudbanks is silent and focused and the

butterfly and the lizard make no sound

that can be heard above the clank of mast

cables and the gentle river flow beside

which we’re absorbed in Ouest France

and our books into which pine needles

twirl – until the urgent tap-tap-tapping

of the woodpecker we’d forgotten we

met last year raises two smiling pairs of