Exhibit number one


I heard the bird-shriek,
the blackbird’s repeated cry;
it cried distress not anger or alarm.

From the window, I saw
beneath the honeysuckle,
owl wings beating, overcoming,
and the owl face that turned to mine
as if to say, this is life and death,
and you, behind your glass may watch,
but stay away.

A final tightening of the grip,
and the brown brindled wings spread,
flew to the trees,
was blackbird, a black bundle of dead feathers
or in a pre-death trance,

and I felt like a thing in a zoo
behind my glass,
living an artificial life,
an exhibit
that no one comes to stare at anymore.

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.

14 thoughts on “Exhibit number one”

    1. It was dramatic! The owl was on the ground beneath the window struggling with something. When I looked out it just turned its head and stared at me while it got the blackbird under control, then took off. It was as though it was daring me to interfere.

    1. If there weren’t predators the millions of tiny prey would eat themselves out of existence. I have much more trouble accepting the brutality of our mode of industrialised meat production and killing. If you want to see brutality just take a brief look at what goes on in slaughterhouses…

      1. I think we do know, but we choose to ignore it because it’s easier. I still buy ham and eat dairy produce. I hate myself for it though and wish it was just banned so I wouldn’t be able to.

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