Dead Magpie written by Polly Oliver at

Dead Magpie

Dead Magpie

written by: Polly Oliver



All signs point to violence at the end
At this quiet end of the cul de sac;
Death-sullied gentility.

Flurry of grey in the last flight of feathers,
Under-down flung from matchstick-boned body-
Nakedness the last indignity.

At the hands or claws of what?
Whose maw would tear head from spine?
Bare vertebrae spike, an obscenity.

Did your hoarse screech send waves of shock
Down still, grey air? Black beak
Wide with pain, bead eyes panicky?

Jerky swagger stilled. Pied, green-black startle
Of a bird wind-scattered now.
A blue feather-eye glows with fading vitality.

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