She wants to see the Birds

by Claire Boosh, Ireland

“I only want to see the birds!”
She whined, her arms up-stretched
And fingers splayed, begging.
I looked down upon her.

Those pink-puckered scraggles
Cheeping from the bottom of their twigged home,
Do I put them on display, for the sake of her education?

Should I also show her the cliff raptor chicks?

Their necks and flimsy wings entangled
In some careless farmer’s bailing twine.
One left alive and the other two blue
In the body.

Or the fox keeled in a ditch?
Suffocated by some wayward half-bottom
Of a plastic bottle.
His snout buried in his eternal rest.

Or maybe the bumbling beffuddled hedgehog
Whose nocturnal habits have been called into question
By a cardboard carton masking
the day from his face.
The baying hounds.
The squandered roadside bodies.

Why is all I have to show my daughter nothing but death?

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