There is something very attractive about Margaret, and Hugh would say yes, she was just the sort of woman about whom other women would say there was something very attractive. And why did they say that? he asked. Because she was no threat.
"No threat," the narrator repeats to herself, asking herself, "Why is it a surprise to find that people other than ourselves are able to tell lies?"
The narrator tells us she does not feel completely innocent. She says that in their marriage, while remaining faithful to her husband, she would often knowingly flirt with other men, in sight of her husband Hugh and outside his purview. Once on a train, though, she wasn't doing the flirting, but this other man initiated it. In a shared car where the two were enjoying a cigarette to themselves, the man said he recognized her from a past life. He claimed to be a conquistador and she his Spanish lady whom he had departed from when she was 21, never to see again.
Uncomfortable, she rejects the man's advances.
Then when she gets off from the train at the station, she witnesses a man have a stroke. A station employee comes and lays his jacket over the man.
She felt in that moment like a clockwork orange. "As if we were all wound up a long time ago and were spinning out of control, whirring, making noises, but at a touch could stop, and see each other for the first time, harmless and still."
She concluded then that it was a message but didn't know what it meant.
Ted Hughes, "The Owl," Birthday Letters: Poems
When Ted's wife Sylvia arrived in London and explored his hometown haunts together, he was reawakened to all these things that had become dull and familiar, especially the natural world around him. She would be curious about a mallard or a rabbit in the fields. And once, they delighted at an owl, who caught them by surprise when it landed on Ted's head, mistaking him for a perch.