previously published in Ambit, 179,
in collection The Glittering Sea,
Hearing Eye Press, 2006,
in my mother’s garden.
She feeds you all her stale
plunging down from the neighbour’s
leaving nothing for blackbird and
the thrushes will have a grand
when you are on the wing.
Perched on your lookout post
or dipping crusts in the little
Crafty old thing.
Portentous stare and weighty
not all dark suits are criminals
but you wear black and look
with grey tail feathers
as if that black were singed to
You could be the taxman just dropping
to advise me on outstanding
Loan shark, undertaker, stand-up
masquerading as a bird.
my mother fed you all she had,
her skinny arms
tossing leftovers of Waitrose’s cardboard
Best readymade food in town
And nothing less will do
as you waddle across the lawn
the gardener shaved for you.
one day she fed you a whole packet of
muttering under her breath,
“one bird less won’t do any
did it swell and swell inside
One day you’ll just fall out of the
No wings then will help you fly.
And blackbird, robin and thrush will fly back
and warble and
crow and sing.