Small body hard curved beak calls out caw or tweet
or maraca from the centre of its maw, its angular
jaw, its sharp needle-thread sowing nests together,
everything held in place like cartilage.
It stands in a drizzle, the cold going off and on again,
wings angelic and every bit fundamental, outspread
turning two times larger as though
a fully-grown adult. Shoots and swoops from chimney
in rain to gain its spot on churchtop drain.
Eyeing with wet black rosary eyes over scrubby land.
She is made of colour and light –
of down feathers and a similar vane,
oily-wet rictal bristles the way eyelashes flutter
and blink that catch you off-guard before you
think. And sit there for hours surveying the green
and grey and freely fly caught in warm sunlight bursts
and wait for land to dry and notice sideways glance
from under hooded brow, they know you’re there,
the flutter the applause the powerful frame from brawny wings;
golden, white, black or blue, chest heaves and outward breathes
and soon flies away.
© Michael Holloway