The magpie

24 May 2009

The magpie
with his sleek black wings and soft white back
hops onto the chair under the window,
listens to me rehearsing.
I look him in the eye and declaim at him.
When I finish the poem he hops up onto the windowsill, a bold

‘Hey! What are you doing? You can’t come in the house!’

He hops down onto the paving and looks at me reproachfully.

‘Well… you might make a mess. You might
poo on the table. I could
let you in if you promise not to
poo on the table…
or if you promise to clean up after yourself…’

He looks at me.

‘Or do you have a
message for me?’

He looks at me.

‘You’re a beautiful boy,
aren’t you? Look at that
beautiful back.’

He picks something out of the gutter and swallows it
then struts slowly away.

I threaten him. ‘I’ll write a poem about you.’