Heron at Port Talbot
by Gillian Clarke
Port Talbot, in South Wales, has a famous steel works which dominates the town, but which has been declining for many years. The town, flanked by the motorway (M4), lies between the sea and the mountains, and would be beautiful were it not for the industrial sprawl of the works. In the incident I describe, I was driving in a snow storm, when a heron flew off the waters of a lake on the sea side of the M4, heading inland for the mountains. It flew right across my windscreen, close enough to see his eye. It was a moment of danger, but also of intimacy with the creature. Both of us were scared. Both ‘braked’. Both, I guess, continued our journey with faster beating hearts.