Caught by the River

Wings over New York: A poem by Kathleen Jamie

19th October 2015

A detail of the front cover of ‘The Bonniest Companie’. Art by Olivia Lomenech Gill

One of the Central Park red-tailed hawks is hunched in a leafless maple pecking at a polythene bag. When it flies its talons entangle in the plastic so it plunges head down — dreadful winged pendulum — and everyone gasps, but with three strong wingbeats it frees itself and soars (Where they nestin’? someone asks, I heard on Dakota, this year) above the American Natural History Museum. At the pondside hop hermit thrush, fox- and swamp-sparrow and elsewhere in the Ramble sounds a tiny NYPD siren — a starling, high in a red oak.

Taken from the collection ‘The Bonniest Companie’, published on 8 October by Picador. Available to purchase in the Caught by the River shop.