did not return. By absence, you shall know them,
we can pause so much, swift screens, our tunes,
but never their wings, strained like a heron's,
black against sun; if they should stop,
not beat the wind, not ride air's rush,
they would fall at once, they would be like us.
Alison Brackenbury was born in 1953, and is descended from a long line of British shepherds and farmworkers. She may be Britain's only poet in a boiler suit, as she has worked for over twenty years in her husband's family metal-finishing business. Her most recent collection is Singing in the Dark, Carcanet, 2008. Her eighth collection, Then, is due to be published by Carcanet in April 2013.
Alison is extremely interested in poetry on the Internet. She publishes new poems via her blog at www.alisonbrackenbury.co.uk, and via her Facebook Group, called Poems from Alison.