Magpie with the streamer tail

Magpie with the streamer tail,

elegance in black and white,

cocks a beady eye and says,

the worst is yet to come.

Beneath the tree the river roars,

the solstice night waits in the wings

with longer darkness than before.

Talons grip the branches tight

and leave white fur of crystal ice

to show that winter owns the field.

With ruffled feathers songbirds wait

for dawns that break as sharp as glass

and dull as water in the ditch.

Deck the boughs with balls of fat

and fat ripe seeds in plastic nets,

so songbirds will resist the cold

to lay bright eggs in tepid spring

for magpie with the streamer tail.

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Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

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