Caught by the River

Swallows in Winter

Katherine Venn | 24th December 2013

A poem for advent by Katherine Venn.

his eyes were glued shut
like the swallows’ as they slept
the winter through
in mudbanks, waiting

for the earth to warm –
until the day when someone
spat onto the ground
rubbed his eyes with mud

and he could see;
he knew then that
the swallows would come back
with their lift and swing

to nest, lucky,
in the rafters of his heart

(inspired by the old belief that swallows hibernated in lakes or holes in the ground, and chapter 9 of John’s gospel)