An ideal opportunity, then, to publish this poem.
An aspen in a Norman wood
supplied the shaft.
A craftsman’s patience
something far removed from nature,
shaped the taper, sealed it,
gently carved the narrow nock.
Fingers, that might pluck a lute
on fair-days, set to fletching:
fine thread of linen.
These would aid trajectory,
ensure the trueness of its flight.
Lastly, a hand affixed with care
the arrowhead, the killing-piece,
into a kind of bird-wing-shape
with pointed beak, as lethal as a battle-sword.
It would be one of many
that French archers took to English soil
to fly in flocks like starlings
over Hastings fields
and fall to earth like iron rain,
out of a grey October sky,
to pierce the fearful blue of Harold’s eye.