Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Goldfinches

The goldfinches never arrived this year
To feast on our larder of nuts.
Sparrows and starlings
In numbers, the darlings,
Bring plentiful chattering cheer
Swapping tall tales from the fence’s flat struts.
But the goldfinches failed to appear.

The robin checked in on Christmas Eve
And perched on the flaking back wall.
He sat there surveying
The sky cold and greying
Like a wistful and fat semibreve.
Until interrupted by dusk’s gentle call,
He’d no inclination to leave.

The rooks and the jackdaws came swooping in
With confidence in their great size
Aloof, yes, and haughty,
They’re not very sporty
And flee at the drop of a pin.
Like black, soaring shrouds, they near cover the skies
Like the reincarnation of sin.

But the goldfinches never arrived this year,
All painted in yellows and reds.
Do their tiny hearts harden
At the thoughts of our garden,
Or have they forgotten we’re here?
Or did they lie dead in their feathery beds
When the cold hand of winter drew near?

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