Nicola Kirk's backstory for her heron...

When I was working next to Glasgow Green a colleague told me they had seen a heron caught in the branches of a tree down by the river Clyde, struggling to free itself. He had called an animal welfare charity, but, sadly, they could do nothing to help. When my colleagues and I were next on a ‘wellbeing walk’ around the Green, we, somewhat morbidly, scanned the banks of the river to try and spot the unfortunate heron. We eventually spied it far away on the opposite bank of the river, dead, hanging from a leafless tree. Its neck was caught between branches and its body hung, swaying in the wind. The branches around it were occupied by large black crows, which looked as though they were respectfully guarding the corpse of this white-breasted bird. The image was so stark and shocking that it has stayed with me ever since, burned into my consciousness. When I began writing poetry again during the workshops with City of Poets, I felt compelled to write about it and share this bizarre experience with others.